In Memoriam: Wayne A. Newell

January 19, 2022

The Peabody acknowledges the passing of Passamaquoddy scholar Wayne A. Newell. Recruited to attend Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 1970 as part of the newly established American Indian program, he dedicated his life to the preservation of the tribal language as an educator, storyteller, author and singer of Passamaquoddy music.

Mr. Newell recently took part in a panel to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Harvard University Native American Program, as described in this article in the Harvard Gazette and, together with his son Chris Newell, appears in an upcoming short documentary Weckuwapok (The Approaching Dawn) that chronicles the sunrise performance collaboration between Wabanaki performers and Yo-Yo Ma on the morning of June 18, 2021. We were honored that Chris Newell recently participated in a two-part Peabody Museum discussion on reimagining museums as we acknowledge their legacy as colonial institutions.