Published on October 9, 2013 by Amy
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The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is a federally recognized tribe of Wampanoag people on the tip of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The tribe hosts an annual Cranberry Day celebration.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head is headquartered in Aquinnah, Massachusetts. The tribe is governed by an eleven-member council. The current administration is as follows.
The tribe also has a traditional chief and medicine man, who both hold their positions for life.
The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe operates a shellfish hatchery on Menemsha Pond, cultivating oysters. Tourism is also very important to the tribe. Many tribal members own their own businesses, while others have had to move off island for employment.
Wampanoag people have lived in Aquinnah, Massachusetts for millennia. Traditionally, they fished, grew crops, and hunted whales. English people began settling in the region in large numbers by the 17th and 18th centuries, enroaching on Wampanoag lands.
In 1972, the tribe formed the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head, Inc. for cultural preservation and political self-determination. The US federal government formally recognized the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on April 10, 1987.