Chappiquiddic Band,Wampanoag Nation,First People of Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard,Massachuset

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The Pokanok,People of the Bays


Koonepeam(You are Welcome),

Our Tribal Council welcomes you. We are Native American decendants of the First People to inhabit the area of Chappiquiddic(Chippi-ahquedne) on the island Noepe(also spelled Nope) or known today as Martha's Vineyard,Ma.. We spoke an Algonquian n-dialect. English Colonial records called us the Band of Pahkepunnasso(the Sachem in 1643) on the island of Chappaquiddick.We were also known as the Capowak(the separate people) by our Pokanoket Tribe.We were one of nine bands existing on the island. The territory of the Pokanoks covered all of southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island(east of Narragansett Bay) and the islands of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, the Elisabeth Islands, and Sakonnet Point,Rhode Island, known as Pokanoket(place of the people of the bays).

 The Pokanoks were led by Massasoit(Great Sachem) whose name was Weesoemequn (Yellowfeather) and consisted of a total of twenty five bands, fourteen on the mainland, the nine on Martha's Vineyard, and two on Nantucket, each band lead by a sachem whose allegiance was to the Massasoit. The Massasoit appointed trusted advisors called Sagamores who represented different regions of Pokanoket territory. It was the Pokanoks who greeted the Pilgrims and saved them from starvation. Today we are known as the Wampanoag. Chippi-ahquedne( Tchepi-aquidenet,the Delaware spelling) means "place of separate island " in our language. Chippi-ayeuonk means separate place. Chappiquiddic is the spelling past down to us by our ancestors.

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Historical Notes

  The tribes west of the Pokanoket were the Narragansett(People of the point), Pequot(the destroyers) and Mohegan Tribes. To the northwest were the Nipmuc. They referred to us as the Wampanoag(people of the east),this is the term used today.This word comes from the Abenaki. The tribe to the north is the Massachuset(place of the Great Hill)an ally of the Pokanoket. The Nauset(place of the bend) occupied Cape Cod from east of Mashpee to the tip, a sub-tribe of the Pokanoket.

  Noepe(amid the waters) and the mainland coast have been inhabited by the Pokanok/Wampanoag for an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 years. Paleo-Indians for more than 18,000 years. With the practice of large scale burning we were able to create large open tracts of land of fertile soil to cultivate our crops (Three sisters : corn / beans / Squash),maintain berry patches, and hunting area's . When the many European explorers arrived and sailed up and down the east coast of America they saw unforested land for miles inshore under cultivation. Noepe's Sachemdoms were Chappiquiddic(was also spelled Chaubaqueduck, Chabbequiddick, Chappequiddic, Chappaquiddic, and today Chappaquiddick) which included Natuck(also known as Capoag) and Muskeget Islands. Nunnepoag(Edgartown area also spelled Nunepog or Nunpauk) governed by Sachem Tewanticut.Under his leadership were two lesser sachemships at Sahnchecontuckquet(known today as East Chop and Oak Bluff) was the Band of Sub-Sachem Autumsquin and then his son  Wampamag. Nobnocket(known today as West Chop and Vineyard Haven) was the Band of Sub-Sachem Cheesehahchamuk ). Nashanekammuck(southern Chilmark) was the Band of Sachem Wassulon) and Seconchqut(north shore of Chilmark -Band of Sachem Toohtoowee).  Ohkonkemme(the central/Eastern area of Tisbury)-Bands of Mankutquet. Okokame(western area of Tisbury/Christiantown)Band of Sachem Sossoanew and then his son-in-law Wannamanhut, and about Aquinnah(Gay Head) the Band of Sachem Nohtooksaet).The bands of Wannamanhut(who came from Boston area) and Nohtooksaet were Massachuset Tribe who settled on the island, Wannamanhut's people joining Sossoanew's people. By moving to Noepe with the permission of Massasoit they now became Pokanoket/Wampanoag. 

The Chappiquiddic's main village was located in the area of North Neck. The area of Sampsons Hill to Long Point was left wooded. Wannasque(the ending point)or Wasque, and Natuck(Cape Poge) was open grassland,wetland, and heath. Natuck was a separate island untill 1723 when a severe storm created a sand barrier connecting it to East Beach of Chappiquiddic. It then was renamed Cape Poge from the the word Capoag.

We are direct decendants of the tribal band known today as Chappiquiddic. Our genealogical tie is through those who were listed on the 1849 Briggs Report and 1861 Earl Report as Chappiquiddic Indians. This is the official census of Native Americans living in Massachusetts,USA at that time. This document is used to determine American Indian Lineage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If your geneology can be traced to these lists contact us. 

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Last update 09/16/2015

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