Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head

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Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
Gay Head Cliffs - Aquinnah - Martha's Vineyard - MA - USA.jpg
Gay Head Cliffs, Quinnah, Martha's Vineyard
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Massachusetts)
English, Wampanoag
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Wampanoag people

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is a federally recognized tribe of Wampanoag people on the tip of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.[2] The tribe hosts an annual Cranberry Day celebration.[3]


The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head is headquartered in Aquinnah, Massachusetts.[1] The tribe is governed by an eleven-member council. The current administration is as follows.

  • Chairwoman: Cheryl Andrews-Maltais
  • Vice-Chairman: Richard Randolph
  • Treasurer: Stephanie White
  • Secretary: Durwood Vanderhoop
  • Council: Naomi Carney
  • Council: Beverly Wright
  • Council: Al Clark Jr.
  • Council: Jonathan Perry
  • Council: Leigh Moreis
  • Council: Shelley Carter
  • Council: Keith Marden.[1]

The tribe also has a traditional chief and medicine man, who both hold their positions for life.[2]

Economic development[edit]

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe operates a shellfish hatchery on Menemsha Pond, cultivating oysters. Tourism is also very important to the tribe.[2] Many tribal members own their own businesses,[3] while others have had to move off island for employment.


Amos Haskins, an Aquinnah Wampanoag whaling captain

Wampanoag people have lived in Aquinnah, Massachusetts for millennia. Traditionally, they fished, grew crops, and hunted whales. English people began settling in the region in large numbers by the 17th and 18th centuries, enroaching on Wampanoag lands.[4]

In 1972, the tribe formed the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head, Inc. for cultural preservation and political self-determination. The US federal government formally recognized the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on April 10, 1987.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Tribal Council." Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head - Aquinnah." Region 1: EPA New England. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b Pritzker 475
  4. ^ a b "History and Culture." Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. Retrieved 25 May 2013.


  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1

External links[edit]