Dear MSJ Community,
On Friday, March 27th, the anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, the U.S. Department of the Interior ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag (the tribe that welcomed the pilgrims) reservation land be disestablished. This crushing decision was made in the middle of a global pandemic, forcing the Mashpee Wampanoag’s leadership to divert precious resources from addressing the threat of COVID-19 toward fighting this blatant act of settler-colonial violence and disregard for tribal sovereignty.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell stated: “The steps being taken right now – in the middle of a nationwide pandemic – to disestablish our reservation and take our land out of trust has created a crisis on top of a crisis. Our land is sacred. It’s where our people receive health services. It’s where our children attend our language immersion school. It’s where we are building houses for our citizens. Taking our land is a direct attack on our culture and our way of living.”
Siobhan Brown (Mashpee Wampanoag), one of our Co-Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Officers, teaches at Weetumuw Katnuhtôhtâkamuq (Weetumuw School) in the Wushkeenune8ak Weekuw (Young People’s House) lower elementary Wampanoag language and culture immersion school in Mashpee, MA. She has shared the following acts of solidarity that we can engage in:
- Sign the petition at www.moveon.org.
- Educate ourselves on what this all means.
- Reach out to the Senate Committee for the BIA as well as our senators to raise up H.R. 312 Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act. (Below you will find a link to the sample letter created by Heron-Hill LLC).
If you are able, you can also make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to the Mashpee Wampanoag.
Please share these action steps widely. In this moment of global crisis, let’s work in solidarity to disrupt the forces of white supremacy culture and settler colonialism that disproportionately dehumanize the most marginalized members of our communities.
Toward universal liberation,
The MSJ Board of Directors