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New Exhibit Theme Unveiled at Mashpee Wampanoag Government Center

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MASHPEE – An educational and cultural exhibit that outlined the history of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe 400 years ago has unveiled a new theme.
The Tribe held a reception last night at their Government Center to unveil “The Messenger Runner” theme with their annual exhibit, “Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History”.
The exhibit will be displayed at the Mashpee Wampanoag Government Center and will include a short video about “The Messenger Runner”.
Visitors to the exhibit will learn about how members of the Tribe were chosen, based upon their endurance and their capacity for memory, to run to neighboring villages and territories to deliver essential messages.
Paula Peters, Tribe member and Executive Producer of the exhibit, said it is important to tell the Native American story in Plymouth’s history.
“They can’t really tell the story of colonialism without talking about what occurred with the indigenous population here first,” said Peters. “Our people have been here for more than 12,000 years.”
The exhibit, which travels throughout the region, launched last year and will have a theme each year leading up to Plymouth’s 400thCelebration in 2020.
Last year’s theme was “Captured 1614”, which featured a back story to colonization and the roots of the American holiday, Thanksgiving.
Next year’s exhibit will be on the 400th anniversary of when the Great Dying began in 1616.
In 2017 the exhibit will cover the history and culture of Pow wows, in 2019 the return of Squanto in 1619 will be the theme of the exhibit and in 2020 the theme will be the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Day of Mourning.
“I think the American people have not known about this piece of history,” said Ramona Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag Historic Preservation Officer. “I’m glad that the exhibit’s here at the Tribal Government Center. Even some of our people will have a chance to be around it and have time to ponder that.”
The traveling, multi-media exhibit is part of the Signature Events and Programs of Plymouth 400, the organization planning the international the anniversary commemoration of the 1620 Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony.
Plymouth 400, Inc. Executive Director Michele Pecoraro wanted the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to have a part in the commemoration.
“We wanted to make sure that the native story was told in the Wampanoag voice, so our board of directors made a conscious decision early on that, that would be the way it would go, because in past commemorations, that’s not been the way it’s been,” said Pecoraro.
The exhibit will remain at the Mashpee Wampanoag Government Center through January 8, 2016.

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