Sometimes a little pocket of blog comments appears for a post and I don't notice it until later. This blog post [Click here] has some comments worth reading. One of those comments is as follows (I corrected the spelling).
Dear Pile bloggers:
The situation with the Nipsachuck Swamp is the So Called Seeconke's who are jonny come lately. They have no standing in USET nor are they recognized by other Wampanoags who have federal recognition. They are getting everyone all worked up and looking to gain some recognition through the media storm. They are not the genuine article, just ask the Narragansett's John Brown, or Doug Harris. Look out, they will turn a solid arcaheological find into a media circus, with the so called tribal hsitorian leading the way.
Kudo's to N.S. [North Smithfield] Conservation Commission and Dr. Meli, they are trying to protect the area.
Dr. Edwin Wind. Retired Professor UMASS.
I responded to the effect that I have been systematically skeptical about the claims being made about Nipsachuk and that I am in a "wait and see if they find anything useful, probably not" mode with respect to the study by Dr. Meli. All of which could be discussed in greater length. But what I want to comment on separately is this view of Dr. Wind that Wilfred Greene represents "jonny come lately". I have little intelligent to say about how Indians treat other Indians and about why the Narragansetts do or do not support the efforts of other New England Indians to gain recognition, whether state or federal. I do remember a certain amount of contempt expressed about Indians who have forgotten their own names and family connections. Right or wrong that is none of my business. But I do think it fair for me to express a white European attitude about such things and it is as follows: I look at Wilfred Greene's face and have no doubt he has a good deal of Native American blood. In what way would he be a "jonny come lately"?. So I ask: why is he not entitled to similar benefits and responsibilities as an Indian who is a member of a recognized tribe? I don't know. Wouldn't the fact that he is not part of a recognized tribe suggest his own family might have been harshly used by the Europeans, more harshly used in fact that -say- the Narragansetts? Or is it that his family deliberately turned its back on Native American culture and now they are "jonny come lately" in wanting to take back what they threw away? A kind of reverse sour grapes.
I do not know the details of Mr. Greene's family history. But in at least some scenarios I think the white community might have a larger guilt to absolve towards Wilfred Greene than towards the Narragansetts. Or in some other scenarios maybe not. But I do want to say to Dr. Wind: you are the jonny come lately, and so am I. Obviously Wilfred Greene has a right to explore his own families history, and all indications are that something significant happened at Nipsachuk. Don't worry that we will be taken in by a "media circus" we are watching closely and caring about all the involved parties - even the much maligned Dr. Meli.