The Hassanamisco Indian Museum recently received $1500 from MassHumanities to scan, inventory, save, re-house and display photographs from the Hassanamisco Archive.
An inventory of all the scanned images will be created for tribal members and researchers to access.
We’ve added a page to the museum’s website – Photographic Archive – so that everyone can enjoy these images beginning in March 2013. Rotating themes featuring the photos will be on display several months.
Occasionally, this blog will feature pictures from the archive so that readers can help identify people in the photos. We look forward to your participation!
On Facebook and in-person, members of the Nipmuc tribe have voiced support for the ‘Idle No More’ movement sweeping across first Canada and now, the world. “Idle No More’ is a grassroots movement begun by First Nation people in response to planned legislation in Canada. The bill, C-45, opens the door for development around previously protected waterways. The majority of these waterways are on First Nation land.
In support of the ‘Idle No More’ movement and to force the heads of Canada to meet with First Nation leaders on the issues surrounding Bill C-45, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike on December 11, 2012. Drinking only clear liquids, Chief Spence ignited the movement into the world-wide protest against still-existing colonialism in Canada.
In a show of solidarity, Nipmuc Candia Flynn-MacArthur traveled to Victoria Island in Ottawa to visit with Chief Spence. Here in Massachusetts, several Nipmucs joined the Flash-mob Round Dance on New Year’s Eve at Quincy Market in Boston. Nipmucs on Facebook have made dozens of posts and re-posts supporting the movement.
The positive energy generated by the Idle No More movement is impacting indigenous people world-wide. Let’s keep that energy flowing.
‘Unity’ is a major topic of discussion these days among Nipmuc people. Currently, there are three bands of Nipmuc – Nipmuc Nation (Hassanamisco), Chaubunagungamaug, and Natick. The Nipmuc Nation and Chaubunagungamaug bands are state-recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There are also many people and families that descend from Nipmuc ancestors but are not enrolled in any band.
The Unity movement seeks to establish a formal collaboration between the bands and to provide protection and a sense of belonging for Nipmucs that do not belong to a band. Some things that may be accomplished by Unity include:
- A Unified Political Voice
- More Strength in Numbers
- Political Clout/Power
- A Land Base
- Economic Sustainability
- The Continuation of Our Culture
- Pooling of Resources
Emotions, continued bad blood, individual actions, and band non-action have slowed the People’s response to uniting. But we will continue on. After all – We Are the Seventh Generation and the Great Awakening has begun.
Here are some images of the former Hassanamisco Nipmuc Sachem, Zara CiscoeBrough.
On September 15th, the Traditional Government of the Nipmuc Nation will hold a ticket auction to raise funds to support Nipmuc people and to keep the tribal office open.
The auction will be held from 12 to 4 pm atThe Baptist Church One South St Grafton, MA
What’s a ticket auction?
Well – the Elders plan on offering over 300 items for people to bid on using tickets that they purchase at the door. You can purchase as many tickets as you like and bid on whatever you want as many times as you want.
Bidding begins at noon. Tickets are sold in batches of 20 for $10, 40 for $15, and 90 for $20. Food and refreshments will also be on sale and the Elders promise entertainment. A specially-made turtle quilt will be raffled off.
Winning tickets for each item will be drawn beginning at 2:30. You must be present to win so if you have to leave, be sure to leave your tickets with a friend or family!
Items up for bid include traditional & contemporary crafts, jewelry, household items, store & restaurant gift cards, and professional services.
Please consider joining us this day. For more information or to donate goods or services, please contact the Elders Council at (508) 281-0250.
In July my grandson and I joined the Native Tribal Scholars program on a field trip to the Native American Festival on Peddocks island in Boston Harbor. The Boston Harbor Islands are full of intriguing Native history but that’s a post for another time.
Activities on the island included storytelling, drumming, singing and dancing. There was also a indigenous plant walk led by one of the park rangers and a Wampanoag staffer from Plimoth Plantation.
We took a ferry to the Island which was sponsored by:
- Boston Harbor Island Alliance
- UMass Boston’s Institute for New England Native American Studies
- Wampanoag Indigenous Program of Plimouth Plantation
- National Park Service
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation.
Here are some pics from the ferry and on the island -
Some say that there is no such thing as the “Nipmuc Language”. Some debate over whether the Algonquin dialect our ancestors spoke was the L-dialect or the N-dialect. And some wonder why we as modern indigenous people should bother to learn a language that our people haven’t spoken in generations.
What many don’t know is that the Nipmuc language is also taught – right here in Nipmuc Country.
Language is important to all cultures. How else do we communicate? But for indigenous people, their language also carries instructions, stories and knowledge that cannot be conveyed in a translation.
David Tall Pine teaches the Nipmuc language in monthly classes throughout Nipmuc country. According to David, “Our Language Honors Our Ancestors and All Our Relations. It strengthens our connection to our surroundings, and helps us understand the Universal Functions of Nature. Our Language helps us remember, often in a quite subtle way, who we truly are, not only as Native People, but as Human Beings, and Life itself.”
Language is a part of our cultural identities. Imagine being able to pass on to future generations our traditional knowledge in our own language. I call upon all Nipmucs to work together to make our language a vital part of our living culture.
Administrator’s Note: The Nipmuc language is taught monthly on the third Sunday at the Nipmuc Nation Tribal Office in Grafton, MA from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. For more information, please contact the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, the UMass Boston Native Tribal Scholars program paid a visit to the Fiske Center for Archaelogical Research at UMass Boston. One of the Fiske Center’s projects is Hassanamesit Woods in Grafton, MA where the team is actively investigating the remains of a 19th century Nipmuc farmstead.
The Sarah Boston Farmstead is so named after the last full-time occupant of the dwelling. On this small (now) piece of land dwelled four generations of Nipmuc women and, thanks in large part to the Fiske Center, their stories are now unfolding.
Because land passed through the females of our tribe, Sarah Robins (abt. 1689 – bef. 1750), Sarah Muckamaug (1718 – 1751), Sarah Burnee (1744 – 1810) and Sarah Boston (abt. 1787 – 1837) all occupied the “Muckamaug Allotment” in what is now Keith Hill in Grafton, MA.
Per the Hassanamesit Woods Project website, the project seeks to “link the investigation of the past with the educational and cultural activities of the Town of Grafton and the Nipmuc Nation.”
During the field trip, the teens viewed a slide show giving an overview of the project and toured the various labs where the artifacts were conserved, washed, investigated and stored. They got a little wet and dirty at the end of the trip while they assisted the Fiske Center team in washing bags of artifacts from the farmstead.
Please click on the link below for more pictures from the visit.