Around New England

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Distances Itself From Tribe Member Who Held Up Palestine Flag During Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 25, 2023

A Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe member held up a Palestine flag on the tribe’s float during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday, but the tribe says it takes no position on the Israel-Hamas war.

“It’s unfortunate that we are not focused on the beautiful display of our culture and history at the Macy’s Day Parade but rather on the actions of an individual tribal citizen. We want to make it very clear that the Tribe takes no stance on the conflicts overseas. Our Tribal Nation remains focused on the issues we face on our ancestral homeland. While we cannot speak for an individual’s actions, his actions were not a Tribal decision. Our governing tribal body, along with the other tribal citizens on the float, were not involved with his actions,” the tribe said Thursday, November 23 in a written statement on its Facebook page, after the incident.

A similar but slightly different statement appeared on the tribe’s web site that same day.

Last year the tribe posted on its web site a statement from United American Indians of New England commemorating Thanksgiving Day as “a National Day of Mourning” and called Thanksgiving Day “a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the erasure of Native cultures.”

The tribe’s float in the 2023 Thanksgiving parade was called People of the First Light, according to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade web site.

The float can be seen at 15:04 of the Global News video of the parade, though no one is holding a Palestine flag at that moment. The float can also be seen at 13:20 of the ActionKid YouTube channel video of the parade, though again, no one is holding a Palestine flag at that moment.

At right, a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe member holds up a Palestine flag while standing on the tribe’s float during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City on Thursday, November 23, 2023. Screenshot of video.

 

Statement posted by Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on its Facebook page on Thursday, November 23, 2023.

 

Statement posted by Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on its web site in November 2022 anticipating Thanksgiving Day.

 

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