- By Native News Online Staff
This story originally ran on Thanksgiving Day 2021. Millions of viewers who tuned in today to watch the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade were treated with a blessing by Mashpee Wampanoag tribal elders Carolyn Wynne (Otter Clan) and Siobhan Brown, who acknowledged the Lenape territory of Manahatta.
The blessing, which was written and shared with us by members of the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project, (WLRP.org) will air exclusively in the Wampanoag language, but translates in English to the following: “Creator and Ancestors, we honor you for all things. We honor the Lenape people of Manahatta and all our relations. Now we are here; and will always be here. And so it is.”
Help us tell Native stories that get overlooked by other media.
Portions of the performance were spoken in Wôpanâôt8âôk, the language of the Wampanoag People.
Positioned behind the two elders for television cameras were Wampanoag Nation singers and dancers who gifted viewer with a performance of a song known to the tribe as the Calumet, which connects the four directions and honors all relations.
Among the singers and dancers were 2021 Wampanoag Princess Dasia Peters, Cheenulka Pocknett, David Pocknett, Gertrude “Kitty” Hendricks-Miller, Hartman Deetz, John Peters, Talia Landry.
The musical arrangement was by Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe).
Today’s appearance was the second year of collaboration between Indigenous Direction and the creative team behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.
The Wampanoag Tribe, also known as The People of the First Light, have inhabited the Eastern coast of present-day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. In the centuries following first contact with colonizing settlers, forced assimilation silenced the Wampanoag language for over 150 years. However, through historical written documents by Wampanoag people, language and culture are again thriving today on this Indigenous land.
Indigenous Direction co-founders Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota) and Ty Defoe (Oneida and Ojibwe) work hard to provide culturally appropriate music and dances that have been part of this continent for centuries. Rounding out the team, Associate Consultant for Indigenous Direction and Project Manager: Jamelyn Ebelacker (Santa Clara Pueblo), and Community Liaison, Siobhan Brown (Wampanoag).
More Stories Like ThisNot Invisible Act Hearing Gathers Testimony on MMIP Cases
Nevada Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Fatal Car Accident that Killed Paiute Filmmaker Myron Dewey
MMIP Red Dress Installation Vandalized in Alaska
NCAI Mid Year Underway on Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Homelands
Native News Weekly (June 3, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Native News is free to read.
We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.