The Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistic Speaker Series will present a talk, “Our Ancestors Call: Tending Wampanoag Cultural Practices,” by Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson and Kerri Helme on Monday, 10/16, at 3:30pm, in McClung 1210. Most people know the Wampanoag as the Natives who met the Pilgrims and sat down to have Thanksgiving with them. As the settler colonials set up towns in New England, they engaged in what historian Jean O’Brien calls “firstings,” or replacement narratives that strategically and rhetorically erased Indigenous presence and rights. However, the Wampanoag and other New England tribes survived these attempts at erasure. Our presentation will challenge these persistent “firstings” and offer ways in which we work to bring awareness of continued cultural practices of our peoples. In our presentation we rhetorically weave history, gardening, language, and makings and give respectful attentiveness to our ancestors’ teachings.
Kerri Helme (Mashpee Wampanoag) is a cultural interpreter at the Wampanoag Homesite at Plimoth Plantation. She has also worked with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as a cultural preservationist on archeological sites, and she is a performer with the Wampanoag Singers and Dancers.
Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson traces her ancestry to Wampanoag, English and Irish ancestors, and she is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Bridgewater State University. She is also the Coordinator of Ethnic and Indigenous Studies at BSU, and co-editor of the Conference on College Composition and Communication award-winning edited collection Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching American Indian Rhetorics (2015).