Washington, D.C. Premiere A remarkable story of cultural revival by the Wampanoag of southeastern Massachusetts, whose ancestors ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America and lived to regret it. Now they are bringing their language home again. The story begins in 1994 when Jessie Little-Doe, an intrepid, thirty-something Wampanoag social worker, began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time addressing her in an incomprehensible language. Jessie was perplexed and a little annoyed – why couldn’t they speak English? Later, she realized they were speaking Wampanoag, a language no one had used for more than a century. These events sent her and members of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoag communities on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in their language. As a result, Jessie got a Masters in Linguistics at MIT and achieved something that had never been done before – bringing a language alive again in an American Indian community after many generations with no Native speakers. Directed by Anne Makepeace.
Welcome by Francene Blythe, Director, All Roads Film Project, National Geographic Society. Discussion with filmmaker Anne Makepeace and Judi Urquhart, Board Member, Wopanaak Language Reclamtion Project, follows screening.