Wampanoag Cultural Center Burnt Down
by nopakuwese (Subscribe)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2009 at 6:19 PM EDT
Location: Assonet, Massachusetts
Tags:Building Wampanoag Massachusetts Arson
The Wampanoag Cultural Center built by the Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation was burned to the ground June 26 in a fire believed to have been arson.
The Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation's Cultural Center, set on Ledge Road on the 227-acre Wampanoag Reservation in the forest, was completely destroyed in the fire, according to a statement by the Freetown Fire Department.
At 7:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of smoke in the area of the Cultural Center and found the 30-foot by 25-foot single story wooden structure in flames.
It took 12 firefighters using three engines about 1 1/2 hours to extinguish the flames. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Ken Alves, chief of the Assonet Band, said he suspected arson, citing many other acts of vandalism that have occurred at the Cultural Center and a nearby pump house. The buildings have been broken into, shot with paintballs and covered with graffiti muliple times.
"The part of the forest that we're located on, we've been besieged by vandalism for quite awhile," he said.
Signs now posted at the site by the state Arson Watch Rewards Program offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information on the fire. Please call the town of Assonet police with any information.
The Cultural Center, which was built in the 1990s, was used as a gathering place for meetings, celebrations and teaching, Alves said.
According to the Freetown Fire Department, local police and fire and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the cause of the fire.
Please help the Assonet Band rebuild by sending us your Prayers, love, and assistance.
To donate to the Rebuilding Fund, please use the following address. Please also include your email and other contact information so that we can update you on our progress.
PO Box 943
Assonet, MA 02702
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Will the Mohegan Tribal Government, help the Wampanoags in thier time of need? Should we (the Mohegan Tribe) help the Wampanoags? What do you think?