Native Americans Mourn Loss of Leader

November 23, 2003

Source: The Taunton Gazette

On November 23, 2003 The Taunton Gazette reported, "Hundreds of Native Americans traveled from across New England to the Watuppa Wampanoag Reservation here Friday to celebrate the life of Clinton Neakeahamuck Wixon (Lightning Foot), who passed away Nov. 9 at the age of 72. Known throughout the region as perhaps the last fluent speaker of the native Wampanoag language, Wixon dedicated his life to educating Wampanoag and Ponkapoag youths about tribal traditions, culture and language. He also kept Native American awareness alive by organizing Pow Wows and demonstrations throughout the state in towns such as Brockton, Lakeville, Middleboro, New Bedford, Taunton, Mashpee and on the Boston Common. From sunrise to sunset yesterday Native Americans from various tribes, many dressed in full regalia, stood in a circle around a Vigil Fire that had been burning in Wixon’s honor for four days. Women stood on one side, men on the other, as they passed around a wooden talking pipe and each eulogized Wixon. Later, his ashes were spread over the Watuppa Reservation and at Ponkapoag Indian Plantation in Canton, the homes of his beloved ancestors. "