UNITY Earth Ambassador Spotlight: Attaquin Weeden
This week’s Earth Ambassador spotlight features Attaquin Weeden, a proud member of the Narragansett tribe of Rhode Island and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts.
Attaquin grew up in a small town in Rhode Island called Green Hill and now lives in Mashpee, on Cape Cod. His people call themselves the People of the First Light and were among the first to meet the English colonists when they immigrated to America in the 1600’s. He has an older sister and a younger sister and enjoys spending time with his family.
Attaquin graduated from Mashpee High School and studied accounting at Community College of Rhode Island. He returned to Mashpee where he embraced his interest in cultural preservation and environmental stewardship. He participated in field archeology school through the University of Massachusetts and now he is employed with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Historic preservation Department as a Cultural Resource Monitor.
As a UNITY Earth Ambassador, Attaquin’s platform is focused on environmental and cultural preservation. He works to educate others about the importance of keeping our land and water resources clean and to continue to practice the cultural teachings of his people that support environmental stewardship. He organizes river and roadside trash collection events and helps his team at the tribal cultural resources center to share information about the importance of keeping our environment clean and healthy so the plants and animals, in turn, can remain healthy contributors to the local ecosystem.
Recently, an issue that received much attention for Attaquin and his cultural resource team was the discovery of several dead Great Blue Herons along the rivers on and near his reservation. Some have speculated this may have been caused by the great blue herons eating herring, a common local fish species, that were carrying toxins or other diseases. Attaquin and his team are working to keep the local rivers and nesting sites clean to prevent any more unnecessary loss. They sponsor regular clean ups along the river banks so the plant and animal life can continue to thrive.
Some of Attaquin’s favorite hobbies include kayaking and pow wowing. He is a talented singer and traditional dancer and happily exclaims, “Every weekend I am on the road to the next pow wow”.