We Still Live Here
Directed by Anne Makepeace • Documentary • 2011 • 56 minutes
Celebrated every Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, and then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag Tribes of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are now saying loud and clear, and in their Native tongue, 'As Nutayunean,' - We Still Live Here.
The Wampanoag's ancestors ensured the survival of the English settlers known as the Pilgrims, and lived to regret it. Now a cultural revival is taking place. Spurred on by their celebrated linguist, Jessie Little Doe Baird, recent winner of a MacArthur `genius' award, the Wampanoag are bringing their language home.
Like many Native American stories, this one begins with a vision. Years ago, Jessie began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time speaking in an incomprehensible language. These visions sent her on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in Wampanoag, lead her to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT, and result in an unprecedented feat of language reclamation by her people. Jessie's daughter Mae is the first Native speaker of Wampanoag in a century.