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Native Groups Seek to Repair Lands Damaged By Colonization

Fin Jones, of Falmouth, Mass., a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, top center, and Jessica Tran, right, of St. Paul, Minn., work to remove invasive plant species at the Wampanoag Common Lands project, in Kingston, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. The project by the Native Land Conservancy is among efforts by tribes and other Native groups nationwide to reclaim and repair lands altered by western civilization. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Fin Jones, of Falmouth, Mass., a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, top center, and Jessica Tran, right, of St. Paul, Minn., work to remove invasive plant species at the Wampanoag Common Lands project, in Kingston, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. The project by the Native Land Conservancy is among efforts by tribes and other Native groups nationwide to reclaim and repair lands altered by western civilization. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Kingston, Mass. (AP) -- Asa Peters marched into a thicket of Japanese knotweed in the woods of coastal Massachusetts this month and began steadily hacking the towering, dense vegetation down to size.

The 24-year-old member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was among a cadre of volunteers rooting out invasive species and tending to recently planted native vegetation on a wide swath of forest acquired on behalf of his federally recognized tribe and other Wampanoag communities.