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Nipmuc Indians Honor The Sacrifice of Their Ancestors During King Philip's War

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  • Nipmuc Indians Honor The Sacrifice of Their Ancestors During King Philip's War

    South Natick, Massachusetts

    On Saturday, October 30, 2010, Nipmuc Indians will observe the anniversary of the forced removal of their ancestors from the historic Natick Praying Indian Town to internment on Deer Island in Boston Harbor in October 1675. New England Indians and supporters will travel the historic path of the forced removal as a 12-mile "Sacred Run" and 20-mile "Sacred Paddle" along the Charles River and through Boston Harbor to Deer Island. About 500 indigenous people, mostly Nipmuc women, children, and elders were imprisoned on Deer Island after the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675. Without food, shelter, clothing or medicine, more than half perished.

    With the support of Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indigenous Program (WIP), this year's Sacred Paddle will include three members of the WIP staff, all members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and mishoons, the traditional dugout vessels, used by the indigenous people of the region, like the Nipmuc and Wampanoag, to travel the waterways. "We are honored to have the participation of Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indigenous Program in the sacred paddle, " said Nipmuc Sachem Mary Anne Hendricks. "The mishoons which will be paddled by WIP staff, Mashpee Wampanoags, and Nipmucs are two of 30 mishoons produced by WIP since 1985 using 17th century tools and techniques. The Nipmuc organizers of the sacred paddle estimate that it has likely been more than 200 years since mishoons have made their way down the Charles River to the sea.

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