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The First Inhabitants of what is now Southeastern Massachusetts were and still are the Wampanoag

Our Native Americans of Southeastern Massachusetts program introduces the people who were first here in New England and who still live here today. Sometimes with all the hustle bustle of life we forget that the land that we live on today originally was inhabited by Native people. We see traces of Massachusetts Native past everyday, yet we often do not recognize it. Place names such as Massachusetts, Acushnet, Mount Hope, Shawmet and dozens of names of lakes, ponds and rivers remind us of the Wampanoag, the people of the east, who first lived here. Many people also do not realize that these people are still here today.  There are thousands of Wampanoag people in Southeastern Massachusetts and probably some in your own town. These people do not dress like stereotypical "Indians" and you probably could not even pick them out of a crowd, but they are here, still living on their grandfathers fathers land. But even though they may not wear headdresses and buckskin shirts like many people expect them to, they have maintained their culture and traditions over all the centuries.

Our program focuses on the Native past that is still present in Southeastern Massachusetts. We discuss the Native history and place names within your town and about the people who were living here when the Pilgrims landed. The entire seasonal cycle of a typical 17th century Native family- what they ate, what their jobs were and what they did for fun will be covered.

Participants are given handouts to take with them including instructions on how to plant a traditional garden, lists of Native place names from their town and sources for more information on New Englands Native people.