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An open letter to PBS television

Regarding “After The Mayflower,” (the first episode of “We Shall Remain”), the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Narragansett Indian Tribe and the Tribal Historic Preservation Authority of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe question the potential of this mini-series to “… tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.”

The THPO offices are charged by their federally recognized tribes and the National Historic Preservation Act with the responsibility to protect, preserve and advise on regional tribal history and culture. Our ancestors are central to the events following the Mayflower landing, yet our historical guardians, our THPOs, were avoided by this PBS production.

This production uses National Endowments for the Humanities funds. We maintain that Section 106 consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act should have been addressed as the project involved federal money in the public presentation of tribal history. Our tribal cultural authorities were not contacted to consult on the authenticity of the production’s script, intent, process or end product.

We have not struggled to maintain our tribal cultural identities for nearly 400 years since colonization to be disrespectfully ignored and dismissed or to have our history misrepresented for the purpose of entertainment.

PBS, your disrespect of the tribes has done a disservice to your audience. Please note that our histories go back tens of thousands of years prior to these “pivotal” conflicts in defense of our families, our ancestral lands and our ancestral way of life.

Finally, PBS in its support and broadcasting of this production has given credence to a radically altered interpretation of the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh’s 1811 declaration to President James Madison’s messenger by deleting its land based implication. “We Shall Remain” implies a call for pity and does not carry the same declaration and meaning as “… AND HERE, WE SHALL REMAIN.”

– George “Chucky” Green

Tribal Historic

Preservation Authority

and Medicine Man in training

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

– Bettina M. Washington

Tribal Historic

Preservation officer

Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)

– John Brown

Tribal Historic

Preservation officer

Narragansett Indian Tribe