Resident Leads Fundraising for Native American Memorial

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
By Joe Domelowicz

A local Winthrop resident and member of the National Daughters of American Revolution (NDAR) organization,  Barbara Woodcock, is spearheading a NDAR fundraising effort aimed at raising $2,5000 to aid the Natick Nipmuc Native American Tribe in their quest to erect a memorial statue on Deer Island.

Deer Island has a long, and somewhat checkered past for many residents living in town. It has been the home to a jail and is currently the site of one of the largest sewage treatment facilities on the east coast. It is also known as a great place to walk, jog, or bike ride while enjoying views of the Atlantic Ocean and city of Boston.

However, many people still do not know that Deer Island was also the scene of a tragic loss of human life. From October 1675 to May 1676, while early settlers were engaged in King Phillips War with other Native American Tribes, the Natick Nipmuc tribe was forcibly interned on Deer Island by the Massachusetts Bay colonists, to keep the tribe from joining with other Native American peoples that were at war with the colonies. Lacking adequate food and shelter on the island, most of the tribe perished during the winter.

In order to honor the sacrifices of their ancestors and celebrate the survival of their tribe, the Natick Nipmuc Tribe commissioned a bronze statue to represent the suffering and courage of the island prisoners. Land has already been set aside for erection of the now completed statue and according to Woodcock, the Boston Tea Party Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution (no affiliation with the political group/movement that bears a similar name) is trying to raise the money that will allow the tribe to erect the statue on Deer Island, and at the same time educate the public about this event in the region’s history.

“My goal is to raise at least $2,500 by October when the DAR will present the Natick Nipmuc Council with a check at one of our chapter meetings,” Woodcock, explained in a press release about the effort. To assist in the effort, Woodcock has placed brochures around town that include information about the internment on Deer Island, the Natick Nipmuc Tribe and the fundraising effort.

Donations can be accepted through a paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/7ua2ltpor by sending a check payable to Boston Tea Party Daughters of the American Revolution and mailed to Barbara L. Wodcock, American Indians Committee, Chairman for the BTP Chapter, 4 Sunnyside Avenue, Winthrop MA 02152.

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