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Plymouth's new museum The Box to open with exhibition exploring Native American history

Plymouth's new cultural attraction 'The Box' has revealed it will open to the public in May, with a major exhibition looking at the controversial history of British colonisation.

The story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, who sailed from the city in 1620, will be seen from a new perspective thanks to a collaboration with the descendants of a Native American tribe.

If you go back to previous anniversaries of the sailing of the Mayflower, they're very different, they use the word 'celebration'.

Where 2020 will be different is that we use the word 'commemoration', because we acknowledge the impact that this sailing, and previous English colonies in America, had on the native Americans who were already living there.

One thing that the Wampaonag people kept saying to me is tell our story of decimation, and how impacted we were by English colonisation. But please tell people that we're still here.

– Jo Loosemore, Mayflower curator, The Box
Jo Loosemore is leading the Mayflower exhibition at The Box. Credit: ITV News

Wampaonag artist Romana Peters has been commissioned to make a cooking pot, which will form part of the permanent collection at The Box when it opens.

Peters, also known as Nosapocket, is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation. As a potter, she has helped revive traditional Wampanoag clay craft from the 1600s.

I like the idea of my work being in museums because native art is generally considered an artefact, with no person attached to it.

– Ramona Peters, Wampanoag artist
The Box, Plymouth's new £40million museum and art gallery, opens later this year. Credit: ITV News

It's an extraordinary range of works and objects and archives and records. So that's what we want to put on display, but also we want people to then think about that past and create new meanings, new interpretations, and I'm absolutely convinced everyone will really enjoy their experience here.

– Paul Brookes, CEO, The Box
Paul Brookes says people of all ages will enjoy the exhibitions. Credit: ITV News