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Eastern Pequot Tribe mourns the death of Chief Hockeo, Roy Sebastian

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The Eastern Pequot Tribe in Connecticut is mourning the death of Chief Hockeo, Roy Sebastian. The longtime spiritual leader died Tuesday morning at the age of 95.

A ceremonial fire that has burned for three days to honor the chief will be extinguished at sundown Friday. 

In 2001, Chief Hockeo was one of several tribal leaders who worked to gain federal recognition for the tribe. He was bitterly disappointed when that recognition was reversed in 2005 after local towns objected.

Chief Hockeo also led ceremonial services and encouraged tribal families to teach traditions to future generations.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 12, on the Eastern Pequot Reservation in North Stonington.

Jeniece Roman is a reporter with WSHU, who is interested in writing about Indigenous communities in southern New England and Long Island, New York.