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Wôpanâak Family Days
Indigenous Awareness Training

Indigenous Awareness, Cultural Sensitivity & Competence Training

for groups, organizations, educators, community leaders.

This training offers an Indigenous perspective and serves to increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous/Native history and contemporary experiences in general, and on Wôpanâak territory specifically on the island of Nôepe (Marthas Vineyard).


Colonial injustices, have ingrained our society, our communities and our experiences for 500 years; and it is time for repair and reconciliation. Native history, culture, and narratives have been attemptedly erased, underrepresented, and falsified, and they require our attention, understanding, and action in order to bring balance and true peace.

The premise of this training is that in today's world, building cultural competency is no longer an option for organizations, educators and community leaders. It's vital for educational organizations to represent truthful curriculum content, amplify silenced narratives, embrace respectful representations and language, address rampant cultural misappropriation of Native culture, and build wholesome relations with Native/Indigenous Peoples.

The training is for groups of 12 or more people, and consists of 4 sessions of 1.5hrs each, that can be offered in one full day, two half days or on 4 different days or evenings. Training can be offered in person or via zoom and can be customized to meet specific organizational needs.

  • Session 1 Open Up: Lay of the Land, Land Acknowledgements, white bias, awareness of cultural threads.

  • Session 2 Dive In: History of genocide, history of Nôepe, Native youth, cultural misappropriation, and language. 

  • Session 3 Process: Decompression session to process and learn how to decolonize from a heart space.

  • Session 4 Activate: Integration of learning, and ideas around your organization's values, actions, goals, and steps.

Costs: $1,950 for groups of up to 12 people, $2,750 up to 24 people.

Dates: Contact to inquire, coordinate and schedule.

Earth Knowledge Series
Indigenous Peoples Day 2022
Wetu Celebration 
Sassafras Main Camp
Free and open to All


Join us this summer for a Wet8 [wetu] Celebration upon completion of the new structure. Families, youth, teens, adults, elders, are all welcome, and children need to be accompanied by an adult. We will be connecting to the earth and each other, play games, learn about our Wetu project, and cook some yummy food over the fire.


Join us to learn more about traditional Wôpanâak home-building, and building a Wetu is so significant. With gratitude to our builder Annawon Weeden, Mashpee Wôpanâak and his team.

Date: T.B.D

Location: Sassafras Earth Education, 5 Church St, Aquinnah, MA 02535

See calendar

Earth Knowledge Series 2022/23

Open to Wôpanâak and BIPOC adults with full tuition coverage.

This is a hybrid series of 3 to 4 gatherings via zoom and one in-person weekend during each season, fall, winter and spring of 2022/23.

Earth Knowledge is Sassafras new fall series that focuses on training mentors in the following areas:

  • Ancient Mentoring

  • Naturalist Knowledge

  • Traditional & Ancestral Skills

  • Addressing our Trauma 

  • Lifting up Native realities and voices

  • Identifying with the Land

  • Land Culture, permaculture, and restoration

  • Ceremonial fire tending

The primary goal for this series is to connect on a deep level to the land and each other. It is reparation time and Sassafras believes it is important to gather in a space with First Nations and BIPOC people. Sassafras is the holder of ancient knowledge and when we share with likeminded others, we can all grow, transform, and deepen our connection.


This fall, winter, and spring we will gather as follows, we meet via zoom to orient, guide, open group conversation, and give some basic "homework" to connect to the land where you live. Then we gather for an in person weekend, and we follow up with another zoom call afterwards. 


Cost: $450 or Full Repair Fund Coverage (Travel stipends available)

Dates Spring/Summer Series:  

3 Zoom Calls on Mon May 22, June 19 and July 10, 2023 from 6:30-8pm.

In-Person Weekend from Fri June 23, arrival 7pm to set up camp, and departure on Sun June 25, around 3pm.

see calendar

Truth about Thanksgiving
PUBLIC EVENT: Truth about Thanksgiving 2022  
Location: OAK BLUFFS LIBRARY - Free event open to the public

We appreciate donations!

Speaking event on the truth about our Thanksgiving holiday hosted by Sassafras Earth Education at the Oak Bluffs Public Library. Talk by Wôpanâak elder David Two Arrows Vanderhoop will be followed by an interactive workshop encouraging all to activate in addressing harm and to bring healing to our island community and beyond.


The Thanksgiving tale we tell is a harmful lie, the objective of this event is to educate the general public on why and how it is tied to the origin myth of this country. During this event, there will be an Acknowledgement of the Wampanoag Territory and People, a Thanksgiving Address, an account of the true historic events that lead up to the celebration of this holiday, an explanation of why and how harm continues today, and a call to action to bring a message of truth to your dinner table.


  DUE to the robbery on 11/17 this event was rescheduled to:

Date: Monday November 21 from 5:30 - 7:30pm

Location: Oak Bluffs Public Library, 56R School St, Oak Bluffs, MA

See calendar

Indigenous Awareness Training
Truth about Thanksgiving 2022 

Location: Sassafras Earth Education

For many Native People the thanksgiving holiday is a reminder of the genocide, the theft of land, and the erasure of Native cultures.  

Its time to come together with tribal members and families, and other Native people to create a true awareness of our peoples and the U.S. history. David Two Arrows Vanderhoop invites tribal members and other Natives to a fire and talking circle to inform you about the truth and to invite you to express your views, feelings on this holiday as well as your vision for our future. When we come together in circle we can heal by sharing our stories and together we can create much needed change.

This event is held at Sassafras, at our new barn and the adjacent fire pit.

There will be baked goods, Sassafras tea and soup provided.

Date: Saturday November 19 from 3:30-5:30pm

Location: Sassafras Earth Education, 5 Church St, Aquinnah, MA

Free event, open to all tribal members/families and Natives.

Become a volunteer
Become a Volunteer

Sassafras is always on the lookout for people who like what we do and want to contribute and be a part of our community. We welcome all who are interested in short or long-term volunteer experiences or who have an interest in learning nature-based mentoring through service, please contact us!

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