New Mayflower resources tell story from European and Native American perspective

Oct 08, 2020

Mayflower 400 Southampton has announced that its school education resources are now available.

With dual-focus, these resources tell the Mayflower story from both the perspective of the European settlers and the indigenous Native Americans.

This is the first time Wampanoag people have co-curated education materials for UK students. The resources are free to access to all and are available on the Mayflower 400 Southampton website.

These resources have been produced to connect pupils with Southampton's history as a global gateway, a City of Sanctuary and to highlight both sides of history.

The story behind both Southampton, the place where the Mayflower left, and what is now Massachusetts, where the colonists arrived to meet the Wampanoag tribe, have not been curated into a joint education resource before.

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the resource enables learning in primary, secondary and SEN environments. The heritage-based programme was co-created by Oasis Academy Mayfield and Paula Peters of the Wampanoag tribespeople.

By embedding the Wampanoag voice into the Mayflower story, the learning resource works to address the single-perspective history that has previously been taught.

The scheme of work aims to not only teach the Wampanoag story, but also explore the reasons why they may have been excluded from history teaching previously. It also discusses issues such as tolerance, disease, grief, sanctuary, democracy and respect.

Paula Peters, Wampanoag scholar, said: "It has been such a pleasure to work with the Southampton City Council team, knowing how genuinely they seek to know and teach the whole story of colonisation.

"The curriculum developed for Southampton students as a result of this collaboration is perhaps the most comprehensive teaching on pre-colonial, Mayflower, and colonial history that finally includes the Native perspective.

"The Wampanoag story has been marginalised for centuries, yet the story of the Mayflower is one that cannot be completely understood without the inclusion of the Wampanoag perspective.

"These are the stories that inform our humanity. If we are ever to advance in a worldly way we have to take a critical look at the past and map our futures so that we do not make the same mistakes."

Cllr Sue Blatchford, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Southampton, made the following pledge: "We have learnt much from working with representatives of the Wampanoag tribe and are enriched by the experience.

"We commit to ensuring all our school children learn their story. From now on, the story of the Mayflower will be told in this city not just from the perspective of those waving the ship off, but also from those witnessing its arrival from (what is now) the Massachusetts shore."

Claire Taylor, Principal at Oasis Academy Mayfield, said: "We are delighted to produce new educational resources for Mayflower 400.

"The series of lessons will help children to connect with Southampton’s maritime history, the city’s place in history, as well as the global and local legacy of the sailing of the Mayflower.

"These resources will enrich our programme of equality and inclusion and we’re proud to share these resources with other schools in the city."

Stuart McLeod, Director London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "We're delighted to support the release of these resources and to help enable the city of Southampton to understand and celebrate its migration heritage and mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s sailing.

"Thanks to National Lottery players, local communities can explore and acknowledge these experiences, which are all part of Southampton’s important story."

Mayflower 400 aims to engage Southampton residents in conversations about migration and remind them of the place of sanctuary it has provided to many people over the centuries.

This resource has been designed specifically to assist schools in achieving or maintaining 'School of Sanctuary' status. Many schools in Southampton are already part of this national programme and Mayflower 400 encourage others to take steps towards being part of this initiative.

The resources are free to access and can be downloaded here.

Phase two of the resources will be issued in March 2021 and will focus on migration and transmigration to and from Southampton, with particular emphasis on the past 200 years.

At the end of the Mayflower 400 programme, resources will still be available through the City Council’s Southampton Stories programme (as part of the SeaCity offer).

Caterina Loriggio, Mayflower 400 Anniversary Director, added: "These resources enable young people in Southampton to get a wider understanding of the Mayflower story and how it relates to their city.

"It also asks them to question how the past is taught, particularly who is and isn't included in the retelling of history, both in relationship to race and gender.

"Our anniversary programme is very much aligned to the City of Sanctuary ambition and we hope this programme can do much to support an empathetic, kind and welcoming, as well as well-informed, next generation."

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