Linda Coombs

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Linda Coombs is program director of the Aquinnah Cultural Center. She is an author and historian from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

Coombs began a museum career in 1974, interning at the Boston Children's Museum as part of its Native American Program.[1] She and her peers, including Narragansett elder Paulla Dove Jennings, wrote children's books for the museum, illustrating Native American culture from a Native American perspective. Coombs later worked for nearly three decades with the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation, including 15 years as the program's associate director.[2] In that capacity, she wrote a number of essays documenting colonial history from a Native American perspective, and often spoke publicly about the need for more accurate representations of colonial events including the first Thanksgiving[3] [4] [5] [6][7] and Columbus Day.[8]

Coombs serves as program director of the Aquinnah Cultural Center, continuing to educate the public about Wampanoag history, culture, and other contributions.[9] Valued for her expertise in regional Native American history, Coombs is a frequent consultant on scholarly and educational projects.[10][11][12]

Born and raised in Martha's Vineyard, Coombs lives with her family in the Wampanoag Community in Mashpee on Cape Cod.[13]


  • “A Wampanoag Perspective on Colonial House.”Plimoth Life, v.3 no. 1, 2004: 24-28.
  • “Hobbamock’s Homesite.” Thanks, But No Thanks: Mirroring the Myth: Native Perspectives on Thanksgiving. Plymouth, MA: Wampanoag Indian Program. September 9, 2000: 2-3.
  • "Holistic History." Plimoth Life 1(2) 2002:12-15.
  • "Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick [review]." Cultural Survival Quarterly. Spring 2007.
  • “New Woodland Path Makes Inroads at Wampanoag Homesite.” Plimoth Life, v. 5 no. 1, 2006: 20.
  • Powwow. Modern Curriculum Press, 1992.
  • “Wampanoag Foodways in the 17th Century." Plimoth Life 2005: 13-19


  1. ^ Stevert, Patricia (1993). Opening the Museum: History and Strategies toward a More Inclusive Institution. Boston: Children's Museums. p. 48. 
  2. ^ Dresser, Thomas (2011). The Wampanoag Tribe of Martha's Vineyard: Colonization to Recognition. The History Press. pp. 165–75. ISBN 978-1609491864. 
  3. ^ Massey, Joanna (12 Aug 2004). "Bringing History's "Messy" Nature to Life for Educators: Program Uses Plimoth Plantation to Boost Awareness". Boston Globe. p. 7. 
  4. ^ Knox, Robert (22 Nov 2001). "Plimoth Plantation Book Challenges Thanksgiving Myth". Boston Globe. p. 10. 
  5. ^ Plimoth Plantation. "Who are the Wampanoag?". Wampanoag Homesite. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Fifis, Fran. "Native Americans still fighting ignorance at Plimoth". CNN. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Cooper, Karen Coody (2008). Spirited Encounters: American Indians Protest Museum Policies and Practices. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7591-1088-5. 
  8. ^ Butterfield, Fox (11 Oct 1992). "Columbus Runs into Storm in Boston". New York Times. p. A18. 
  9. ^ Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. "Aquinnah Cultural Center". Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Kavasch, E. Barrie (2004). The Mound Builders of Ancient North America. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. 
  11. ^ McGuire, Margit (1997). The Wampanoags and the First Thanksgiving. Everyday Learning Corp. 
  12. ^ Kerber, Jordan (2006). Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Native Peoples and Archaeology in the Northeastern United States. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
  13. ^ Center for New England Culture. ""We're Still Here" Online Exhibit". Center for New England Culture. Center for New England Culture. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 

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