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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:39 PM

hiding in plain sight

My wife is a retired teacher who taught for many years in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Chelsea is a very small lower-income town on the northern edge of Boston. She says that a lot of the people who live there are actually Wampanoag Indians. The officially-recognized Wampanoags live in Mashpee and Martha's Vineyard. To avoid being forced to leave their homes, the ones in Chelsea pretended to be Portuguese. Now they are no longer afraid to admit being Wampanoag, but have no official recognition as being part of the Wampanoag tribe.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply hiding in plain sight (Original post)
flyingfysh Mar 2012 OP
FirstLight Mar 2012 #1
CountAllVotes Mar 2012 #3
patrice Mar 2012 #2
Angry Dragon Mar 2012 #4

Response to flyingfysh (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:45 PM

1. Wow... how long has this gone on?

like a century or so...?

That's amazing
...and so freaking SAD it almost makes me really fucking angry the more I think about it.

I have been researching my family's Cherokee heritage for a while now, it looks as though a couple of my long lost ancestors changed/anglosized their names
on BOTH sides, so I hit dead ends for now... I can't imagine what a whole community must feel about being alienated from their tribe

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 06:17 AM

3. I'm in the same boat

After much time and work, I found my mother's real family.

As for the people that adopted her (also Cherokee), they had changed their names, dates of birth, etc.

The reason was simple. They were Indian and they were on the run. Can one blame them when the Federal Indian policy was "extermination" at one time? I don't think so.

I've come across some of the strangest names I've ever seen (mostly first names). That tends to be a clue while do this reseach.

Best of luck and don't give up! I cannot tell you how happy I was when my cousin in Indiana that is almost 80 years old called me on the phone and said, "bingo, you found us!" to me on Xmas eve of 2008.

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Response to flyingfysh (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:50 PM

2. So, is there no official way to address, re-establish, that tribal recognition?

I suppose that'd be difficult, because it would not be good to recognize in-authentic relationships, but I bet this kind of situation isn't that uncommon, so maybe someones should begin the collaborative work of trying to do something about alternative forms of authentication.

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Response to patrice (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 11:34 AM

4. DNA??

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