A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet an impressive man, Wompimeequin Wampatuck. If you graduated from Braintree High or ever hiked Wampatuck State Park…Yeah, he’s from those Wampatucks. He’s the current Sachem(Chief) of the Mattakeeset Tribe.
The meeting revealed a number of surprises that ranged from historical to personal. Some carried significance in both areas. This very eloquent man spoke about losses sustained by his people, promises broken, loss of life and other transgressions against his family and people. He also spoke about the beauty and dignity of his culture. He shared the history of how the Mattakeeset have survived, adapted and overcome a host of challenges over the years.
There was anger there, but it was not the dominant impression I received. The history our two peoples share was understood by us both, the good and the bad. The Mattakeeset Chief was not interested in division, protest or highly visible outcries. Instead, he spoke only of moving forward, healing and understanding. He discussed ensuring the continuing existence of Mattakeeset tradition and sharing it with outsiders as a means to both preserve the culture within his tribe and to build understanding with the non-Mattakeeset world. The vision was so full of hope and drive. I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Really very inspiring.
It reminded me so strongly of the vision I’ve held of the first Thanksgiving Harvest Celebration in 1621. Two vastly different peoples gathered together to celebrate the gifts of life and plenty for another year.Two different peoples, living together in a harsh, unforgiving environment, able to ally for the good of all for a time. It was a very hopeful vision, that could apply to peoples, communities, families and individuals today.
We wish you that same Mattakeeset-inspired pathway to unity, peace and joy, reviving the camaraderie and hope of the first Thanksgiving, for you and your family and friends. Enjoy a truly Happy Thanksgiving!
Lew McConkey, Realtor
Coletta Cutler Realty