Posts Tagged ‘pilgrims’


Remains resurrect Squanto questions

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Native history, Native identity, Native sites

The wooden bust of Native American Squanto at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth. (Cape Cod Times/Christine Hochkeppel)

All scientists really know about the human remains found recently near the the famous Plymouth Rock is that they’re Native.

But one scientist is wondering, because of other clues that came with the findings, if the remains are that of Squanto, the Cape Cod Times reports.

    “I wonder if it’s Squanto?” Donald Aikman, vice chairman of the town’s historical commission, said last week after learning about the grave unearthed on Feb. 14 on Salt Marsh Way in North Chatham.

    Evidence of a Christian burial prompted several local historians to think about the famous Native American, also known as Tisquantum, whose final resting place remains a mystery.

    Before he suddenly fell ill and died in Chatham in November 1622, Squanto was the influential English-speaking guide and interpreter who helped the Pilgrims survive in a country already heavily settled by Native Americans.

    . . .

    W. Sears Nickerson, the late Pleasant Bay historian, wrote that Squanto’s grave was probably in what is now the Eastward Ho! Golf Course above the bank that looks over the bay.

    It’s just impossible to tell 410 years later, but the great thing about discoveries such as an old grave site, is that “it causes people to reflect on the real deep history that this place has,” Dunford said.

    “We’re so caught up in contemporary events that we don’t necessarily think about the 10,000 years of history that is here,” he said.

Jenna Cederberg

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Some thoughts from Native Sun News publisher Tim Giago, as posted on Huggington Post, for this Thanksgiving Day:

By now I believe most Americans understand that the creative stories surrounding the first Thanksgiving are, for the most part, a myth.

There are few Native Americans who believe this day meant that peace and harmony had become a reality between the Indians and the Pilgrims. Most Natives know that this was just the beginning of an onslaught that would reduce the number of Indians from more than one million to about 200,000 by the beginning of the 20th century.

Over the years I have heard many stories about the psychological impact of Thanksgiving celebrations at schools where a few Native Americans attended classes with predominantly white students. Recalling her school days in Kansas, one Caddo Indian lady said, “All of the kids, except me and two other Native Americans, showed up in class wearing cardboard feathers with their faces painted in various colors. The white kids put their hands over their mouths and whooped and ran around the classroom making these awful sounds. We Indian kids were mortified and embarrassed by all of this.”

She continued, “What if on Black History Day or on Martin Luther King’s birthday all of the white kids came to school with their faces colored black? Wouldn’t that be an insult to the African American students?”

But the day known as Thanksgiving has been accepted as a legal holiday by most Native Americans because the idea of a day to give thanks is such a strong part of their traditions and culture.

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