Two Worlds Collide: Teaching Ourselves About Cape Cod’s First Inhabitants with Paul Savage
Friday afternoons from 2-4 p.m. in person at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
February 4, 11, 18, 25, and March 4.
Course limited to 24 participants.
N.B.: PARTICIPANTS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED AND BOOSTERED!
IF NECESSARY, COURSE WILL MIGRATE TO ZOOM IF CONDITIONS CHANGE.
Cape Cod’s history is indelibly linked to Nov. 1620 when the Pilgrims landed at Provincetown. In Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands–and in numerous locations of North America--thousands of places are named for Native American peoples, cultures and nations. Yet most of the history we were taught in our schools comes from the European and American perspectives; Native American history is often generalized, glossed over, romanticized or not taught at all.
Join retired Advanced Placement United States History teacher Paul Savage for a journey back to the origins of human settlement in North America and the Cape. This exploration will use historical thinking skills to open a new path of discovery to teach ourselves about the rich, highly advanced and complex cultures that were in North America for thousands of years before European settlement. The five sessions will emphasize the Native American history of the Cape and Islands.
The following themes will guide our journey:
- Migration and Settlement
- Power (Politics)
- Culture and Society
In addition to teaching ourselves about the foundation of Native American history prior to recorded history, the class will examine the diverse cultures and nations in North America (today’s Canada, the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America), the Eastern Woodlands people, which includes the Native cultures of New England. The class will also discover the Native Peoples of the Cape and Islands and discuss their impact on the region, their legacy and their future.
Through the use of historical thinking skills, we will use the skill of:
- Context, to know what happened before, during and after
- Comparison, to analyze the differences and similarities between the European colonizers and the Native Americans
- Causation, to examine the sparks that lit numerous genocidal conflicts, including the Pequot and King Philip wars
- Continuity, chronology and change-over-time, to map the transformation of Native peoples from migratory hunter-gatherers to the current state of Native American nations.
A major goal of the class is to virtually explore local Native American sites, artifacts and lore from ossuaries in Wellfleet to Corn Hill in Truro-- where Pilgrims took stored corn from the Nausets and disturbed a gravesite-- to the abandoned Native village of Pawtuxet, which became the site of Plymouth Plantation. In so doing we will hope to illuminate ourselves concerning the People of the First Light.
Readings for the course will include Nathaniel Philbrick's "Mayflower, A Story of Courage Community and War," William Chronon's "Changes in the Land," and local sources of insight into Wampanoag, as opposed to European, perspectives.