“The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoags were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007 and retain full tribal sovereignty rights.”
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has approximately 2,600 current members and is based in Mashpee, Massachusetts.
This project is still in it’s developmental phase. Our group, Students Without Borders, reached out to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in October 2014 and received a response in November 2014 from Quan Tobey, the Director of the Natural Resources Department. Since then, we have continued contact with them through email and phone calls.
On March 28th, 2015, a group of four students and an advisor traveled to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Community & Government Center in Mashpee, MA to meet with tribal representatives. During this pre-assessment trip, our group visited several of the properties owned by the tribe including their horse farm and oyster processing center, their oyster farm along Gooseberry Island, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum.
This pre-assessment trip provided us with a great opportunity to sit down with the tribal representatives and discuss their Natural Resources Departments active projects. Our hope is that SWB could potentially assist them with achieving the tribe’s main goal which is to achieve economic security and food sovereignty. It still has yet to be decided what SWB will officially assist the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe with, but based on the strong communication and enthusiasm on both sides, we are hopeful that we will get a project up and going soon!