Selectmen and Tribal Leaders Straighten Misunderstandings
Sam Bungey

Bureaucratic black holes, poor communication and a lack of tact that borders on comedic are to blame for a series of recent misunderstandings between the Aquinnah town government and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

The first fiasco began in late July when building inspector Jerry Wiener sent a letter tribal chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais citing the tribe for violating town zoning laws and the state building code on three building projects.

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Annual Powwow at Cliffs Set for Saturday Afternoon

Follow the drumbeats to the Circle at the Aquinnah Cliffs on Saturday, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. for the annual powwow with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

There will be traditional dancing and drumming, Native American exhibits, arts, crafts and food, all sponsored by the Tribal Youth Program.

Gates open at 10 a.m. Grand entry is at noon. Follow the signs; parking is free, with a free shuttle to and from the Cliffs.

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Aquinnah Building Inspector Cites Tribe on Building Permits
Sam Bungey

Nearly four years after the landmark sovereignty case was decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has yet to secure a town building permit for the small shed and pier that were at the center of the dispute.

Aquinnah building inspector Jerry A. Weiner sent a letter to tribal chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais late last month formally notifying her that the tribe is in violation of town zoning laws and the state building code on three projects, including the shed and pier. The tribe has not responded to the letter.

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Wampanoag Youth Bring Energy to Spring Social
Jack Shea

Aquinnah’s young people are a renewable tribal energy source, the annual spring social potluck showed last Sunday.

The annual event was sponsored and organized by members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) youth program.

Featuring traditional Wampanoag singing and dancing and a 20-foot-long potluck food table, the event drew more than 125 celebrants to tribal headquarters, including youth groups from the Mashantucket Pequot, Mashpee, Mohegan and Narragansett tribes.

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Voices Carry Wampanoag Lives, Tribal History Back to the Cliffs
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Aquinnah Cultural Center has opened a new exhibit, celebrating the history of the town through voices.

The center is located on the cliffs, at the homestead of the Vanderhoop family. The beautiful white house which now has a role of preserving the town’s history has stunning views of the shoreline. This is the cultural center’s fourth summer, and the latest exhibit is for all who care about Aquinnah and its rich history.

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Drumming Up a Powwow for All
Mark Alan Lovewell

T omorrow when the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe’s fifth annual powwow begins, it will be with the Grand Entry, when members of different tribes from all over New England proceed into the arena at the Aquinnah Circle, that grassy open meadow near the Cliffs, to music and drumming. All spectators stand in welcome.

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Culture Luncheon Series Features Wampanoag Talk

The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living held the first in a series of five cultural luncheons, this one featuring the Contributions and Influence of the Wampanoag, on Nov. 13 at the Grill on Main in Edgartown, with a meal including traditional foods carefully selected and prepared by chef Anthony Saccoccia and his staff to represent a traditional meal of the Wampanoag.

Tables were decorated with a floral arrangement by Ellen O’Brien. Those sitting at specially marked seats each won a bouquet at the end of the day.

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Tribe Spurns Offer From Cape Wind To Pay $1 Million
Mike Seccombe

Martha’s Vineyard’s Indian tribe rejected a $1 million inducement to drop its objections to the proposed Cape Wind development in Nantucket Sound, in the interest of preserving a cultural tradition which some tribal members deny even exists.

The offer from Cape Wind was made during a series of meetings convened by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Washington in January this year. Both the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe were offered $1 million each, to be paid in installments over 20 years.

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Interior Secretary Pays Visit to Wampanoags
Mike Seccombe

Federal Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar came to the Vineyard and Cape Cod on Tuesday to consult with Indian tribes opposed to the Cape Wind development, then held a press conference on the wind farm site in Nantucket Sound to say that the meetings had not decisively moved his view of the project.

Secretary Salazar said he was “very bullish” about the future of offshore wind energy in general, but that all options were still open regarding Cape Wind’s plan to build 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal.

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Wampanoag Powwow

Wampanoag Powwow

The seventh annual Aquinnah Wampanoag Powwow is taking place this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday, in the circle at the Cliffs. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day and the grand entry begins at noon.

Throughout the day there will be Native drumming and dancing, plus numerous vendors and food.

The cost is $10 per day for adults, or $15 for a two-day pass, and $5 per day for ages 5 to 18 or $7.50 for a two-day pass. Under age five is free.

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