Timeline of events in the history of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe
Some important dates in the history of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe:
1620: Mashpee Wampanoag Indians meet the Pilgrims as they arrive in Plymouth. Tribe member Squanto helps them survive their first winter in North America.
1621: The Mashpee Wampanoag celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and later serve as guides when the settlers explore the land.
1685: Plymouth Court deeds roughly 55 square miles of land on Cape Cod to the tribe. The court ruling states the English cannot purchase any of the land without the Indians' consent.
1752: The tribe sends a petition to the Massachusetts General Court seeking relief from encroachment on their land by non-Indians.
1763: The Massachusetts governor and Legislature agree to allow limited self-government by the Indians in Mashpee.
1770: Crispus Attucks, whose mother was a Mashpee Wampanoag, is killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre.
1790: President Washington signs the Trade and Non-intercourse Act, which requires federal government approval before Indian land can be sold or transferred.
1822: The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is listed as an Indian tribe by the U.S. War Department.
1849: Oversight of the all Indian tribes is transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. A bookkeeping error omits the Mashpee Wampanoag from the bureau's list. The error is not corrected despite the Mashpee Wampanoags' 1822 classification as a tribe.
1870: The Massachusetts Legislature abolishes the Mashpee district on Cape Cod and incorporates Mashpee as a town.
1870-early 1960s: Mashpee Wampanoags hold all elected offices in Mashpee and hold all slots on the police and fire departments. Tribe members continue to fish and hunt on the town's undeveloped lands.
1964: First white person is elected to the Mashpee board of selectmen.
Late 1960s: Large residential developments, beginning with New Seabury, start to alter the town's demographics and political structure. The Indians' free movement through the woodlands to the coastal waters is impeded.
1975: The Mashpee Wampanoag inform the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs that they will seek federal recognition as a tribe.
1976-1982: The tribe fights unsuccessfully in state court to reclaims lands it once held. The case creates havoc among those trying to buy and sell property in the town because banks will not grant mortgages while ownership is in doubt.
1993: Mashpee Wampanoag Medicine Man John "Slow Turtle" Peters delivers opening prayer at President Clinton's inaugural breakfast.
2005: The Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council reaches a settlement with the U.S. Department of Interior, putting its recognition petition on the "active consideration" list.
Feb. 15, 2007: The Mashpee Wampanoags are officially recognized as a tribe.