Amidst the heartache, Our Tribe’s Strong Kinship Ties Have the Power to Transform Mourning into Morning

Dear Tribal Family,

The month of May turned out to be a difficult time for many of us. Even as the beauty and renewal of spring shone its face – even as the herring began their annual run – it wasn’t all sweetness and light. Amy Booth Hamblin (Hendricks), Dwight A. Peters, and my beloved mother and Tribal Elder Constance Myrna (Tobey) Cromwell went on to the Grande Lodge in the Sky. And while each of their spirits are now with The Creator, those of us who were left behind are not without a sense of grievous loss.

Of course, I cannot speak for the immediate families of Amy and Dwight. But, as for me, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to all those who offered their love, support and Good Medicine during such a difficult time.

Amidst the heartache, however, I am always blown away by how our Tribe’s strong kinship ties have the power to transform mourning into morning. The sacred songs, sage, prayers and drumming embody an ancient appreciation for the circle of life, and, I believe, is the secret to our resilience.

It is a blessing that even in death, there is still beauty – and strength – among our people. The way we come together to celebrate the lives of those of us who pass on, without regard to circumstance or status, carries the implicit message that each and every Wampanoag life matters.

To behold and partake in that is a constant source of healing and hope.

***

We draw upon the everlasting energy of our ancestors (as well as the recently deceased) to walk in their footsteps that we may have the fortitude to face our tomorrows.

It is with that spirit I ask you to join me in welcoming new leaders into our tribal government:

Our new Tribal Administrator David ThunderEagle; our new Tribal Supreme Court Justice Terri Yellowhammer; our new Youth Director, Tracy Kelley; our new Assistant Education Director, Scott Shepherd; our new Indian Education Coordinator, Cameron Greendeer; our new Tribal Outreach worker, Ann Marie Askew; our new Emergency Preparedness Planner, Nelson Andrews Jr.; our new Clerk, Eileen Miranda; as well as our new Gaming Authority member, Daniel Nuey.

 

Kutâputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell

Qaqeemashq (Running Bear)