penobscots don’t want ancestors’ scalping to be whitewashed
From the Associated Press:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Most Americans know about atrocities endured by Native Americans after the arrival of European settlers: wars, disease, stolen land. But they aren’t always taught the extent of the indiscriminate killings.
Members of the Penobscot Nation in Maine have produced an educational film addressing how European settlers scalped — killed — Indigenous people during the British colonial era, spurred for decades by cash bounties and with the government’s blessing.
“It was genocide,” said Dawn Neptune Adams, one of the three Penobscot Nation members featured in the film, called “Bounty.”
She said the point of the effort isn’t to make any Americans feel defensive or blamed. The filmmakers say they simply want to ensure this history isn’t whitewashed by promoting a fuller understanding of the nation’s past.
At the heart of the project is a chilling declaration by Spencer Phips, lieutenant governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Issued in November 1755, it gave “His Majesty’s Subjects” license to kill Penobscots for “this entire month.” The reward was about $12,000 in today’s dollars for the scalp of a man, and half that for a woman’s scalp. The amount was slightly less for a child. Settlers who killed Indigenous people were sometimes rewarded with land, in addition to money, expanding settlers’ reach while displacing tribes from their ancestral lands.