Narragansett and Aquinnah Wapanaag Nations
Burial Sites UPDATE:
A year of investigation into suspected burials of Native Americans,
possibly victims of the holocaust, has led to calls for assessment
and protection of suspected burials in a proposed solar array tract.
The tract is now healthy forest, which would be cleared for a solar
array. Inside and around this tract are estimated 40 to possibly 90
or more suspected individual burial mounds, and a large cluster of
ceremonial stone relics. Tribal Historic Preservation Officers of
both the Narragansett and Aquinnah Wapanaag Nations have sent
official requests to the Town to investigate the burials. 3
experienced archaeologists, trained in the local area, have
confirmed the need to investigate these mounds.
Standing Stones on Burnt
Hill, Heath MA (photo courtesy of Martin Miller)
archaeologists, including myself, have collected more than a hundred
CSL and burial sites in Eastern Franklin County, all of which lie in
a greater Pauwau that encompasses at least a 20-mile radius
extending from the National Historic Registry Sacred Hill Ceremonial
Site. Citizens have campaigned hard with the Planning Board to
properly assess and protect these suspected burials and the sacred
stone relics that are living prayers with them.
Brothers and Sisters from hours away in New York and Connecticut,
Rotinonshonni, Nipmuc and others, and many concerned Euro-American
citizens came out to support proper assessment and protection of
human burials. Big thanks to all who made such great effort on all
our behalf. Our guests also blessed us before the town board meeting
and gave the town a needed bit of good medicine.
The permit conditions are still on the chopping block, though
assurances have been made that an archaeologist under the
supervision of a regional THPO will assess the suspected burials and
Meanwhile, we have many such sites in our town, most of which are
threatened by state logging plans for biomass burning or commercial
Here, we are working hard to bring protection for the forests and
for the Pauwau landscape which lives as a prayer within the forest.
It looks like a landmark may be in the making, and perhaps the
seventh generation can turn the tide. Momentum is gathering behind
saving our resources and our heritage to preserve the Human Family
Anyone who wishes to send a letter to the Planning Board supporting
proper assessment and protection of this and these sites, please
contact post a comment and it will be copied and shared with the
Planning Board. June 7th is the final decision on exactly how the
permit conditions will be worded.
Nahunushagk, with thanks, Peace, RG Cachat