It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that we are working, performing and gathering on the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people, who are the indigenous peoples of this land.
Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin, and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.
Heather Bruegl, M.A. Director of Cultural Affairs, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Tribe.
Please get to know the Indigenous people of your area, and ask what you can do to lift and raise their voices, honor, and respect their sovereignty. In that spirit, these action items are offered:
- Pay attention to language and names. Honor and make changes to the dominant narrative that glorifies colonization and genocide of indigenous peoples of this area. Problematic terms like “Pioneer Valley” are a reminder of that legacy of dispossession, removal and subsequent erasure, try shifting to “Connecticut River Valley”.
- Read about Indigenous Cultures. A list of essential reading for Anyone interested in Native American experience compiled by the First National Development Institute can be found here.
- Teach children about Indigenous Cultures. A list of Children’s Books from the First Nations Development Institute can be found here. Read these with a child, share the list with a library, book store or school, Use the hashtag #NativeReads and share on social media. For teenage readers, we recommended The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving by Larry Spotted Crow Mann (Nipmuc Nation). For young children, we recommend The Tyler series of picture books by Katari Wilson (Sicangu Lakota Nation).
- Donate to The Mohican Tribe’s Museum. HERE
- Protest Native Mascots, Imagery and Cultural Appropriation. There are three bills that the Tribes of Massachusetts support in the State House right now that address imagery, mascots, the state flag and seal, and respecting cultural heritage. Please contact your local legislator through MAIndigenousAgenda.Org and encourage them to support these bills.