Aquinnah: Indian Police Academy

— Kyra Steck

A very hearty congratulations to Ranger Christopher Manning for graduating from the United States Indian Police Academy on Jan. 7. Before he attended the Indian Police Academy, Chris graduated from the Municipal Police Training Committee’s Basic Reserve Intermittent Police Officer’s class. According to the Wampanoag Tribe, “The Academy is an intensive program co-located with the Department of Homeland Security at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia, New Mexico. The Academy designs and delivers training specific to Indian Country Justice Services needs for police officers, criminal investigators, correctional officers, tribal court staff, and telecommunication equipment operators.” Ranger Manning, a.k.a. Chris, got a very warm welcome home from his parents, siblings, and grandmother June when he returned home this weekend. Chris is such a smart, committed, and aware young man that I’m sure this training has just improved on what was already there by refining his knowledge and skills. As June pointed out, Chis’ family has a long history of police service in Aquinnah. His father is Sergeant Paul Manning, and his great-great grandfather was the late Capt. Walter Manning, who was a police commissioner for the town. Congratulations Chris, and thank you for your service.

The Aquinnah Public Library is hosting a free yoga class on Saturdays, Jan. 16 and 23, at 10 am taught by Jannette Vanderhoop. Start your weekend right with some good stretching. The library is offering take home crafts any day they are open.  The next meeting of the virtual book group will be on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 3 pm to discuss “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. Email to register.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury began serving their Wednesday supper on January 13. It looks and operates a little differently than it has in the past. All meals will be take-out and delivery only on Wednesday from 5 to 6 pm. If you would like a meal, you need to pre-register on the church’s website by 5 pm on Monday (you can sign up for multiple weeks at a time). Go to to sign up. You can also call the church at 508-693-2842 for more information.

Pathways Arts will hold a meeting this Thursday, Jan. 14, at 7 pm via Zoom for a Book Project Community Discussion meeting. Since people cannot perform for live audiences currently, Pathways is looking for artists in all mediums to collaborate on a book project that would feature new work from Island artists. They would love to have as many artists as possible. Pathways is also holding its weekly Writer’s Group every Tuesday at 7 pm. For more information and to get the Zoom links, contact Pathways at 508-645-9098 or via email at

There are a bunch of January babies in town: Happy Birthday to Megan Rajala, who celebrates on Jan. 14, to Faith Vanderhoop, Jan. 15, Tom Murphy, Jan. 16, and Tipaphai Nirandone, who celebrates on Jan. 20. I hope everyone has a wonderful birthday and stays safe and healthy through this crazy time.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,