A story of injustice, outrage, activism, and vindication that emboldened cultural pride and integrity for the Mashpee Wampanoag in 1976
During the summer of 1976 the revival of cultural and traditional values of the Mashpee Wampanoag was occurring at the same time tribal leaders and town government were clashing over land entitlement. An incident involving an overzealous tactical police force disrupting a group of traditional drummers and singers evolved into a high profile trial of nine young men arrested, eight Wamanoag and one non-native friend. Defended by one of the American Indian Movement’s most skilled and dogged attorneys, the Nine won in a rare case of a court ruling against law enforcement. Court documents shredded, news accounts buried in microfilm, the case has faded into distant memory but not the stories of the surviving Nine and those who rallied to their defense. What does survive is the tradition the Nine sacrificed their freedom for, even for a night, and fought vigorously to defend, the drum, the songs and the night. This documentary will resurrect that legendary incident and preserve the memory of those who experienced it for the generation now sitting at the drum, and those to come.
Please join a Kickstarter campaign for the production of a documentary film to preserve this important piece of New England tribal history.
For more information, contact Paula Peters, SmokeSygnals, at email@example.com. Image and text from Mashpee Nine: Let the Beat Go On! Kickstarter page