Tribe holds State House gathering to mark 1st Thanksgiving

BOSTON (AP) — The Native American tribe whose ancestors hosted the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims four centuries ago is hosting a Thanksgiving reception at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

The Mashpee Wampanoag say the Monday morning gathering at the Capitol building’s Great Hall is meant to promote peace and unity for all Americans.

Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell, Vice Chair Jesse “Little Doe” Baird, state Auditor Suzanne Bump and a number of lawmakers are among those expected to speak.

The federally recognized Cape Cod-based tribe says the gathering will also include tribal drumming, a traditional prayer and presentation of the tribal flag.

Wampanoag Indians hosted a fall harvest celebration with Pilgrims settlers from England in 1621, an event credited as starting the Thanksgiving tradition.

November is Native American Awareness Month in Massachusetts.

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