Wampanoag Nation to visit Bassetlaw Museum in 'exciting cultural exchange'

Bassetlaw Museum and the Pilgrims Gallery will be welcoming representatives from the Wampanoag Nation for a week of Native American history and culture.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 1:12 pm

The Wampanoag Perspective Project, led by Bassetlaw District Council and funded by the Arts Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, will grant visitors to the museum the opportunity to learn about Native American culture.

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The exhibition will be hosted by some of the direct relatives of those who first encountered the Pilgrims as they arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

The Wetu is made out of cedar bark and will be in the grounds of the museum until at least December.

The project will take place at Bassetlaw Museum, in Retford, between September 20 and 25.

Steven Peters, member of the Wampanoag Nation said: “[The project] is an educational opportunity - it’s a cultural exchange.

“We’re going to have singers and dancers that come over with us as well, so there is going to be a lot of opportunity for everybody to get a better understanding of history, and our differences, and our similarities as well.

“I hope that everybody gets to enjoy our time while we’re there. We are very much looking forward to it!”

Heritage engagement officer at Bassetlaw Museum, Isabelle Richards, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the Wampanoag Nation on this project and are passionate about being able to present a more balanced version of history in such an engaging way.”

“The members of the Wampanoag Nation will be joining us at a very culturally relevant time, as we will be nearing the 400th anniversary of the first ‘Thanksgiving’ meal shared between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.”

Throughout the week, Bassetlaw Museum will also be holding several educational sessions for children, allowing pupils to learn about Native American culture, our shared history, and to watch the assembly of a Wetu - a Native American hut - which will also feature in the grounds of the museum.

Isabelle added: “Through the events and activities that we have planned, I hope that everyone will enjoy learning about a side of history that is often silenced, and make the most of this special experience.”

Each day there will be allocated times for members of the public to be able to talk and engage with the Wampanoag Nation. These are:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 3-4:45pm. Saturday, 10am-12pm and 12.30-4:45pm.

For more information about the Wampanoag Perspective Project and the activities taking place, visit www.pilgrimroots.co.uk/events2/the-wampanoag-perspective/.