FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wampanoag Nation Singers & Dancers to Perform Traditional Song and Blessing on NBC During the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021
In collaboration with Indigenous Direction, the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature a Wampanoag blessing and traditional rattle song and dance to honor the Wampanoag and Lenape people. This broadcast will take place on Thursday, November 25th at 9:00am in all time zones around the globe. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal elders Carolyn Wynne (Otter Clan) and Siobhan Brown will acknowledge the Lenape territory of Manahatta where the parade takes place annually while the Wampanoag Nation Singers & Dancers gift us with a performance of a song known to the tribe as the Calumet, which connects the four directions and honors all relations. Portions of this performance will be spoken in Wôpanâôt8âôk, the language of the Wampanoag People. The Wampanoag Nation Singers & Dancers represented will be current 2021 Wampanoag Princess Dasia Peters, Cheenulka Pocknett, David Pocknett, Gertrude “Kitty” Hendricks-Miller, Hartman Deetz, John Peters, Talia Landry, and will include musical arrangements by Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe). 2021 will be the second year of collaboration between Indigenous Direction and the creative team behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
The Wampanoag Tribe, also known as The People of the First Light, have inhabited the Eastern coast of present-day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. In the centuries following first contact with colonizing settlers, forced assimilation silenced the Wampanoag language for over 150 years. However, through historical written documents by Wampanoag people, language and culture are again thriving today on this Indigenous land.
The Calumet blessing, which was written and shared with us by members of the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project, (WLRP.org) will air exclusively in the Wampanoag language, but translates in English to the following: “Creator and Ancestors, we honor you for all things. We honor the Lenape people of Manahatta and all our relations. Now we are here; and will always be here. And so it is.”
Indigenous Direction co-founders Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota) and Ty Defoe (Oneida and Ojibwe) are committed to cultural protocols and ways of looking at the world that have existed on this continent for centuries. Rounding out the team, Associate Consultant for Indigenous Direction and Project Manager: Jamelyn Ebelacker (Santa Clara Pueblo), and Community Liaison, Siobhan Brown (Wampanoag).
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