A New Encounter
To the editor:
The Independent’s coverage of Native American and colonizer issues — from town seals to book reviews — has been consistently sensitive to the local Wampanoag. They emphasize that “We are still here,” and you let us hear that.
Thursday, Dec. 8, is the 402nd anniversary of the so-called first encounter near what is now called First Encounter Beach in Eastham.
In 1620, the Mayflower and its colonizers were at today’s Provincetown when some men in a shallop explored the bay side of Cape Cod. By this beach, on Dec. 8, Nauset men met them with arrows. After some use of their muskets, the English fled and found what would become Plymouth.
The Nauset Interfaith Association is sponsoring a sunrise service at 7 a.m. on that day, Dec. 8, at the parking lot of that beach — snow or sun, warm or cold. It will last 30 minutes and will be followed by warm refreshments at the nearby Chapel in the Pines. All are welcome.
Robert Peters, an eminent poet and artist of the Mashpee Wampanoag, and leaders of congregations in the Nauset Interfaith Association will assist us in interfaith prayer — to remember that violent encounter and explore its many meanings for today. Peters is one of the artists whose work is featured in John D’Addario’s review of the book Wampanoag Art for the Ages (Nov. 24, page C1).
All of this fleshes out the thoughts expressed in Christine Legere’s Oct. 6 article “First Encounter? There’s Much to Relearn About That First Meeting.”
G. Thomas Ryan
Not Offended by the Seal
To the editor:
In response to George Davis’s letter regarding the town seal [Nov. 24, page A2]: I am completely sympathetic to what may be inaccuracies in the depiction of Wellfleet’s founding on the town seal. I think a design competition is a unique and creative way to explore other possibilities. And I agree with Mr. Davis that $1,000 is a small amount of money to spend for such a purpose.
My preference for tabling this agenda item is that we still have much work to do to balance our books and keep our budgets on track. Wellfleet’s free cash account has yet to be certified by the state Dept. of Revenue.
Has Mr. Davis given thought to the cost to the town in switching out the town seal on every uniform, on every town vehicle, on every official piece of paper — on the purple bags even?
I find the present town seal neither offensive nor a spending priority for the town at this time.
And while my comments may sound caustic, my decisions are always carefully considered.
The writer is a member of the Wellfleet Select Board.