Mashpee Wampanoag

Mashpee Wampanoag

Mashpee is a town located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been the home of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for approximately 12,000 years.  The Mashpee Wampanoag are one of the original sixty-nine tribes that belonged to the Wampanoag Nation.  Originally, the Marshpee (later called Mashpee) Tribe was under the oversight of English missionaries for nearly 200 years.  The reservation period in Mashpee officially began in 1677 and restricted the freedom of the Mashpee Wampanoag people until 1868.  From that time up until around 1975 the tribal people were in control of the Mashpee town government, were active business owners and the predominant town residents.  As town and federal politics dramatically changed over the years, the tribe maintained its autonomy as a non-profit organization until 2007 when federal recognition was finally granted after a 30 year legal land suit.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has both traditional and conventional leadership and maintain a government-to-government relationship with all federal agencies to support the health, education, and welfare needs of the tribe.  The traditional leadership includes the Chief and his Circle of advisers, Medicine Man, and Clan Mothers.  The Chief and Medicine Man have permanent seats at the Tribal Council table to ensure cultural concerns are included in decision-making. Tribal members seek advice, ceremony, and social justice from these leaders.

Economically the tribe has adapted and maintained a number of different survival methods besides hunting, fishing, and planting.  During the 17thand 18thcenturies tribesmen were involved in the fur, rope, timber, and sassafras trade.  Then in the 19thand early 20thcenturies they engaged in the whaling industry, sailing the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian Oceans.  

Recent DH Items
1737.11.00.00_page1petitions_masa_na_45X_0031_0034_0001.jpg
Community: 
Indian Papers Project Editors, Mashpee Wampanoag
Category: 
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Culture & Society, Politics, Power & Sovereignty
Summary: 
A request from the Indian proprietors of Oyster Island, heirs of Simon Wicket, seeking authority to sell the island in order to satisfy debts
Original Date: 
1737.11.00
Scholar's Transcript: 
1737.11.00.00.ST_.pdf
1737.12.24.00_page1petitions_masa_na_45X_0031_0034_0003.jpg
Community: 
Indian Papers Project Editors, Mashpee Wampanoag
Category: 
Geography, Land, & the Environment, Culture & Society, Politics, Power & Sovereignty
Summary: 
A committee report on the request from the Indian proprietors of Oyster Island, heirs of Simon Wicket, seeking authority to sell the island in order to satisfy debts
Original Date: 
1737.12.24
1779.05.26.00_page1.jpg
Community: 
Indian Papers Project Editors, Mashpee Wampanoag
Category: 
Geography, Land, & the Environment, Politics, Power & Sovereignty, Settlement, Migration, & Resettlement
Summary: 
A description of his service to the Mashpee and a request that their grant of land to him be enacted
Original Date: 
1779.05.26
1779.03.31.00_page1.jpg
Community: 
Indian Papers Project Editors, Mashpee Wampanoag
Category: 
Education, Religion, & Missionary Efforts, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Culture & Society, Politics, Power & Sovereignty
Original Date: 
1779.03.31
1788.10.31.00_page1.jpg
Community: 
Indian Papers Project Editors, Mashpee Wampanoag
Category: 
Work, Poverty, & Economy, Geography, Land, & the Environment, Culture & Society, Politics, Power & Sovereignty
Summary: 
A statement in support of the appointment of Reuben Fish and John Percival as overseers
Original Date: 
1788.10.31