Following the Faculty: Students Honor the Wampanoag and Their Ancestors

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Dr. Lauren (LT) Thompson’s Minorities in America courses hosted a “Green Corn Ceremony” on Monday, November 22nd. Many Indigenous Peoples celebrated the first corn harvest of the season in August. This is loosely translated to become known as the “Green Corn Ceremony.” One of these nations were the Wampanoag. They are known as the “people of first light” because they lived (and some remain) on what is now Cape Cod.  In 1620, the Wampanoag people saved the starving, sickly Pilgrims and aided them in developing homes, food, and a settlement that became known as Plymouth. To celebrate their survival, the Wampanoag invited the Pilgrims to celebrate the “Green Corn Ceremony” with them in the Fall of 1621. That was exactly 400 years ago. Once European settlements became stronger, Indigenous Peoples, including the Wampanoag, were forced to convert, wiped out by disease, driven off their homelands, or murdered.

Dr. Thompson’s classes began with Indigenous Peoples history in August and worked their way to present day, covering the history and experiences of all ethnic and racial minorities in the US. For the Thanksgiving holiday, students celebrated by cooking & bringing in food from their ancestors. Since we all come from elsewhere but are living on Indigenous land, the class dedicated their feast to those who once lived on the land we now stand: the Mississippian, Miami, Osage, Kaskaskia, and Peoria.

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