Public Program, MHS Speaker Fund, Hybrid Event

Wôpanâak Language Reclamation

jessie little doe baird

Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 6:00PM - 7:00PM

This is a hybrid event. FREE for MHS Members. $10 per person fee (in person). No charge for virtual attendees or Card to Culture participants (EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare). The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Register to attend online

Register to attend in person

Jessie Little Doe Baird has led the effort to bring back to the Wampanoag people the language once spoken by their ancestors. This path-blazing work, which Ms. Baird has now pursued for decades with colleagues across the Wampanoag Nation, began with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project formation, which is reclaiming the language. In a journey that began as a vision, Ms. Baird earned an advanced degree in linguistics at MIT and initiated the creation of vast resources needed for the work of language reclamation. Her work earned her a MacArthur Genius Award Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation in 2010. Ms. Baird has also served as vice-chairwoman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences from Yale University.  

This presentation corresponds with the Society’s publication of Wôpanâak Inscribed, a digital edition that presents transcriptions of a manuscript phrasebook compiled in 1666 by a missionary to Noepe (more commonly known today as Martha’s Vineyard). The quality of this edition has benefitted from the time and expertise provided by Ms. Baird and Wampanoag linguists Tracy Kelley, Nitana Hicks Greendeer, and Prof. Norvin Richards, along with further feedback from Linda Coombs and Melissa Harding-Ferretti. The edition will be available at the Society’s website this spring. 

This program is part of the annual MHS Speakers Fund lecture series. The MHS Speakers Fund supports talks with leading scholars of American history who advance the mission of the Society by nationally contributing to a deeper public understanding of the American experience. The MHS Speakers Fund was started by the generous gifts of Charlie and Kitty Ames.

Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Masks are optional for this event. 

The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.