For immediate release: Mayflower Descendants Join Wampanoag Descendants to Ask Support from Congress for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Land

Society will send formal letter of support to legislators asking them to vote in favor of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act

GSMD logo compactPlymouth, MA (December 12, 2018) – Past partners that helped found America are joining hands to aid one another, just as they did in 1620. Today, the 30,000 strong Mayflower Society is reaching out to extend support to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in its quest to pass the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, now pending in Congress.

"The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) is made up of lineal descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The Mashpee Wampanoag Nation is made up of lineal descendants of the Wampanoag Tribe. In 1621, our ancestors together signed a 54-year peace agreement that allowed both to survive and protect one another,” said GSMD Governor General George P. Garmany. “In light of the fact that this agreement between Europeans and Native Americans is the only example of cooperation in what was followed by a sad chapter in American history, and in light of the fact that our ancestors collectively chose to live in peace for 54 years, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants fully supports today’s Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and joins in support of legislation known as the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation Reaffirmation Act.”

The Mayflower Society voted on December 8, 2018 to contact legislators and urge them to preserve the Tribe’s reservation land in Mashpee and Taunton, which today makes up only a fraction of its original reservation.

During the Pilgrims first winter, the Wampanoag Tribe kept the Pilgrims alive by teaching them how to plant crops. Without the support of the Wampanoag people, the descendants of the Pilgrims would not be here today, which includes some ten million Americans. When the Mayflower Pilgrims landed in what would become America, the Pilgrims and Wampanoags brokered a peace agreement that called for protecting one another. The peace agreement was faithfully kept by both sides for 54 years.

“This is a truly historic moment in which descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as descendants of the Wampanoag people who broke bread and brokered a long-lasting peace with their ancestors,” said Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell.

The Mayflower Society has drafted a letter of formal support that has been sent to members of Congress urging the bill’s passage.

The Mayflower Pilgrims were separatists from England that sailed to America in 1620, bringing with them religious and civil liberty that became the basis of American democracy. They signed the Mayflower Compact before coming ashore, which later influenced the U.S. Constitution.

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Contact: Lea Filson, 504-492-5330, fggfilson@themayflowersociety.org

George Garmany, 720-470-2608, governorgeneral@themayflowersociety.org

About the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD)

Founded in 1897, The Mayflower Society, or General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with national headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Membership requires proof of lineage from one of the passengers who traveled to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Its mission is to educate the public about the Mayflower Pilgrims and their impact on Western civilization and to uphold the highest standards of genealogy research in verifying the lineage of the Pilgrims. The society operates a genealogy research library at its Plymouth headquarters and publishes the Mayflower Families Through Generations, also known as the "Silver Books" because of the distinctive covers. Connect with us: www.theMayflowerSociety.org Instagram.com/themayflowersociety twitter.com/gsmd Facebook.com/GSMD

About the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe:

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,700 enrolled citizens.

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