In what ways did the Wampanoag help the colonists survive?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In short, the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans (and especially the famous Squanto, whose actual name was Tisquantum) aided the Pilgrims by helping them learn about crops, land, and the Massachusetts climate.  This helped establish a peaceful relationship between the two groups of people.

The Wampanoag, specifically through Squanto, also became the "middleman" between the Pilgrims and the Massasoit.  This was a much better position than the Wampanoag being the enemies of the Mi'kmaq tribe (a serious problem before the Pilgrims arrived).

The Wampanoag, through Squanto, further helped the Pilgrims in translation to Native American speech.  Squanto acquired this ability when he was captured as a slave and subsequently freed.  Squanto's translation services to the Pilgrims helped initiate a peace agreement.  It also helped to initiate the "First Thanksgiving," where the two groups simply got together after the harvest and feasted.  

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