Four Winds students raise money for Mashpee Wampanoag tribe

  • Vincent Craig, Effie Paxton and Juna Gradick participate in a walkathon at the Four Winds School in Gill to raise money for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Columbus Day. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • People walk, or run, a track in a walkathon at the Four Winds School in Gill to raise money for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Columbus Day. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • People walk a track in a walkathon at the Four Winds School in Gill to raise money for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Columbus Day.

Staff Writer
Published: 10/15/2019 5:29:18 PM

GILL — At Four Winds middle school, Columbus Day was marked with a fundraiser for a Massachusetts Native American tribe.

It started last year, when students learned about the arrival of the Mayflower and the subsequent relationships between the European colonists and the natives, according to school Director Becca Lipton.

“It left all our students with this sense of European guilt, or something,” she said.

Students and teachers brainstormed, and found out about Mashpee Wampanoag, a Native American tribe based on Cape Cod that is directly descended from the people who dealt with the Mayflower’s colonists, Lipton said. The tribe was not federally recognized until 2007, and is still involved in legal battles over land rights, she said.

On Monday, the school, located off the French King Highway, had a walkathon to raise money to donate to the tribe. The fundraiser was organized by the Four Winds’ parents organization, which Lipton said is new as of September.

Students’ family members and friends could either donate a sum of money, or pledge to donate a certain amount for each lap the student would walk, Lipton said. Students raised $243 in donations, and the pledged amounts will be collected over the coming weeks and finalized by Nov. 1. Of the school’s 12 students, Lipton said 10 participated.

“If we don’t try to repair what our ancestors did, the tribes will die off,” said Lila Tadlock, a Four Winds student who is 12. “We feel like it’s our job, but we don’t feel like it’s our personal fault.”

Four Winds had a half day on Monday, and the walkathon ran from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. By about 3, Tadlock and the other students she was walking with had walked 35 laps, equivalent to 3.5 miles. She said she would probably be able to reach her goal of 50 laps by the end of the walkathon.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 261.




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