Mashpee Wampanoag Massasoit Remains Returning to Grave in Rhode Island

MASHPEE – The Wampanoag leader who signed the first treaty with the Mayflower’s Puritan pilgrims in 1621, will be repatriated to his original burial site Saturday on Burrs Hill Park, overlooking Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

A 20 year quest to track down the scattered remains and artifacts of that were kept in several different museums, was led by Ramona Peters and John Peters Jr. with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Edith Andrews of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and Kenneth Alves of the Assonet Band of Wampanoag.

A citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Ramona Peters is also the coordinator of the Wampanoag Repatriation Confederation.

“A number of government officials and others will join to gather to commemorate this individual who basically opened the country for colonization,” said Peters.

Over the past 20 years, the confederation has been focused on finding the remains of 8sâmeeqan, which had been removed from his original Burr Hill Park burial site in 1851 to make way for railroad construction.

Over the years, the confederation has successfully repatriated the grave contents of 42 burials with 658 funerary objects removed from the burial ground on a hill at the edge of 8sâmeeqan’s village of Sowams, now known as the Town of Warren, RI.

“The town of Warren has been supportive all along to allow us to reenter in the same location,” said Peters.

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