I read the article regarding recognizing and thanking the Herring Pond Wampanoags for their stewardship of the land we now call Plymouth. I appreciate the valuable and timely information that you provided. Thank you.

I’ve been a resident of Plymouth for nearly 16 years. I was blessed with the opportunity to serve Plymouth as a trustee at Cape Cod Community College for nearly 10 of those years. When I was on the board in 2022, near the end of my second term, the trustees unanimously adopted a similar statement recognizing the Mashpee and Aquinnah Wampanoags for their stewardship of the land on Cape Cod.  We adopted the following statement:

We acknowledge that we gather as Cape Cod Community College upon the traditional and ancestral land of the Wampanoag. We condemn the unjust deeds done in the past and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Indigenous people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. We commit to uplift Wampanoag and Indigenous voices and continue to work for reconciliation through collaboration in our role as better neighbors.

I remain amazed by some of the so-called leaders in our town who want to find conspiracies and illegalities in anything new. And in this case, Plymouth is way behind the curve. My experience with Cape Cod Community College tells me that there is no issue regarding legal liability, no precedent being set that could cost the town money down the road, and certainly it recognizes that we owe a debt of gratitude to the indigenous people that are so much a part of our 21st century tableau. The Herring Pond Wampanoag are ably led by their chairwoman, Melissa Ferretti, and supporting this statement is nothing more than recognizing the historical significance of these people and their continued commitment to the land that we share.

I guess it wouldn’t be Plymouth without someone stirring the pot in search of a new controversy. My hope is that we see reason and adopt the statement which does not have any “legal implications for this town.”

Will Shain

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