He was 20 years my senior, with many lessons to teach, some of which I was privileged to receive. And yet, he called me Uncle Ted, something my actual nephews don't even do, demonstrating an unexpected measure of respect which I was honored to receive -- and which I hope he knew was returned.
Among other things, he contributed much toward bridge building between the indigenous peoples of North America, and the Witches and Pagans (mostly of European descent) who have been striving to rebuild their own indigenous practices, long crushed and mangled by the various Christian cults.
Over the past several years, we laughed, and wept, and danced, and drummed, and argued, and loved, and more, together.
He had a long history of heart problems.
Two weeks ago, he underwent a surgical procedure
for one of those problems, and last Thursday, a complication of that surgery [ETA: probably] ended his life. This Wednesday, I'll be on Cape Cod to celebrate that life and say farewell, with some number of his friends and family.
Uncle Maurice... It was my honor, and my privilege, to know you. Be well, where you are now.
MASHPEE - Maurice “Strong Bear” Foxx, a proud traditional member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Chairman of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, died unexpectedly on Thursday. He was 59 years old.
As Coordinator of the Wampanoag Repatriation Confederacy, Maurice was passionate about the repatriation of tribal remains and artifacts from museums, colleges, private collections, and as a result of excavation, and considered the re-internment of his ancestors his most important work.
A member of the tribe’s Bearse family, descendants of Cape Cod’s historic sagamore, Iyanough, this week Maurice will be laid to rest after a celebration of his life to be held in Mashpee.
An activist for peace and justice Maurice was also a well regarded authority and lecturer on Native American history as well as contemporary Native American issues including sovereignty and inter-tribal relationships.
He was a mentor to young people and a champion of higher education, and had been instrumental in the establishment of the Native American Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
He also helped to establish several Native American museum programs including those at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard and the Children’s Museum in Boston. At the time of his death he served on the Wampanoag Advisory Committee at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth.
Maurice was born in Boston where he was a graduate of English High School and attended Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.
For 25 years he worked at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace where he became director of technical services.
In (year) Maurice retied to Mashpee where he was active in tribal affairs and was a member of the chief’s council. He was particularly dedicated to the preservation of tribal historic landmarks.
He is survived by a son, Maurice N. Foxx of Atlanta; two daughters, Monet C. Foxx of Dorchester and Aisha J. Foxx of Brockton; his grandson, Majai Grey Foxx of Dorchester; a sister, Anne M. Foxx of Yarmouth; four brothers, Peace Alexander Foxx Jr. of Virginia, Rev. L. Nelson Foxx of Cambridge, Vincent Foxx Sr. of Roxbury and Frederick Foxx of Minneapolis; and an extensive extended family and many friends. He was predeceased by a brother, Nathaniel Foxx.
Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 13 at 1 p.m. at the Chapman Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 74 Algonquin Avenue in Mashpee.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations in memory of Maurice be made to the Mashpee Wampanaog Tribal Council Health, Housing or Education programs.