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Massachusetts’ Native American Trail

Culture

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Posted by Phyllis Cahaly, guest blogger of Mass Office of Travel & Tourism

November is Native American Heritage Month

When we think about the important role that the Native Americans have played in the history of Massachusetts, we typically think about the Wampanoags and their relationship with The Pilgrims. Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth teaches us about how The Pilgrims and Wampanoags lived in harmony and history reveals that The Pilgrims would have barely survived their first winter in 1620 had it not been for the Wampanoags, but there’s so much more. . .

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Native American Mosaic, Shelburne Falls

Over the last few years, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, (MOTT), the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and the North American Indian Center of Boston have worked in tandem to develop the Massachusetts Native American Trail Project. The goal of this project is to promote, educate and bring awareness about the Massachusetts Native American Indians, from a cultural tourism point of view, to the Massachusetts cultural visitor. The Native American Trail, which runs throughout the Commonwealth, brings an understanding to the multitude of important Native American events and site markers that exist across the state.

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Massachusetts Tribal Map

Recently, organizers at UMASS/Amherst researched and created a map confirming that all of Massachusetts is tribal and home to the following territories: Mohican, Abenaki, Pocumtuc, Nipmuc, Pennacook and Wampanoag. With this information and together with the 16 Regional Tourism Councils, MOTT created a Native American History page on www.massvacation.com, to help promote the Native American historical sites, events and cultures in Massachusetts; in some areas, gift shops provide the cultural visitor with an authentic souvenir to treasure.

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Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, Nantucket

This growing list is organized into these regions for easy access: Greater Boston, South of Boston, Cape Cod & Islands, Central Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts. These historical and important listings not only help acclimate the Massachusetts visitor with a variety of significant events which occurred within a tourism region, but equally as important, allows the Massachusetts indigenous peoples a format in which to tell their own stories.

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Wampanoag Tribe, Plimoth Plantation

To learn more about the Native American Trail Project, click on: http://www.massvacation.com/explore/history/native-american-history, www.naicob.org or www.umass.edu/nativetrails.

Upcoming Native American Events

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Native Fashion Now at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. On view from November 21, 2015 to March 6, 2016.

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Wampanoag Nation of Singers & Dancers

Wampanoag Nation of Singers and Dancers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston. November 27, 2015, 10:30 am – 11:30 am.

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