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Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley

NEWSLETTER Winter 2014

NAIHRV The Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley is a voluntary organization of Native Americans, educators, students and interested community groups. The purpose of the Institute is to conduct research, provide education, increase awareness, and discern historical truth of the Algonquian peoples of the New York area before, during, and after European encounter.

DID YOU KNOW? MOHICAN TRIBE TODAY  The Mohican Tribe since 1856 lives in Bowler, WI  There are 1,579 enrolled members. Enrollment is 1/4 minimum Mohican blood.  566 of the enrolled members live on the Mohican reservation.  The reservation sits on 23,026 acres in the townships of Bartelme and Red Springs More info: www.mohican.com

NAIHRV Conferences in NY and MA Expand Organizational Reach The NAIHRV expanded its work in 2013, sponsoring two conferences that examined the early history of the Mohican people in the Upper Hudson River and western Massachusetts. First, working with the Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations, the Stockbridge Library Museum and Archives, the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, and Chief Rick Wilcox, the NAI brought together more than eighty people for a day-long conference and walking tour of historical sites in Stockbridge MA. The NAIHRV seminar was a unique day of historical discussion examining the history and presence of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe in Stockbridge, MA. Held May 11, 2013 at the Stockbridge Town Offices, the seminar featured presentations by area historians and town and tribal officials. The day also

featured a lunch with many traditional foods such as wild game.

Samson Occum and the Haudenosaunee Vision of Peace

Seminar Topics at Stockbridge session included:

Mohican Land Claims

Cultural Survival of Eastern Woodland Indians

Mohican Indians, Mill Streams, and Fortified Villages

16th Century Native American Sites on the Lower Mohawk: Were they Mohican?

Mohican Boundaries

French & Indian Wars, Jeffrey Amherst, Captain Jacob, and the role of Mohicans with Robert Rogers

Shawenon and the Egremont Connection

Ninety Acres: In Consideration of Services to the Stockbridge Indians

The Mohican Indians in History

Secondly, over the weekend of September 28 and 29, the NAIHRV convened its annual conference with an impressive array of speakers and panel discussions. Presentations at the Albany seminar included:

Native Americans in Western Connecticut: Surviving European Settlement

Territorial

The Mohican Veterans offered the Presentation and the Retreat of the Colors. A second day expanded the conference with outdoor exhibits at the Replica Ship Half Moon and demonstrations of Native and European technology and life skills. More information available on the website at www.naihrv.org.

Research Achievement The Laurel Hill Association of Stockbridge, MA is the oldest village beautification society in the country. It has frequently helped preserve Mohican sites. At the annual Laurel Hill Day celebration, Stockbridge Police Chief Rick Wilcox was honored for his legacy of advancing research initiatives on Mohican history in Stockbridge. Mohican tribal representatives expressed their support for Wilcox’s efforts. At left, Historic Preservation officer Sherry White and then-Council Member JoAnn Schedler present Chief Wilcox with an honoring blanket. Then-Tribal President Robert Chicks was also in attendance.


Native American Institute PO Box 10758 Albany, NY 12201

Phone: 715-793-3970 www.naihrv.org

Please become an NAIHRV Member! Membership Levels: Individual: $20

Institutional: $50

Family: $40

Lifetime: $200

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Checks can be made payable to NAIHRV and mailed to: PO Box 10758, Albany NY 12201 Phone

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Mark your Calendar:

September 27-28th NAI Seminar 2014 Details coming soon!

Possible Mohican earthenworks complex found in Stephentown New York By Warren F. Broderick, NY State Archives emeritus

Do earthen mounds created by Native peoples exist in Mohican country in eastern New York and western New England? Long-held beliefs of historians and ethnologists infer that Algonquian peoples did not construct them. Two known and one reported raised earthen “mounds� are found in Mohican country. These are all apparently single mounds but in October of 2009, an intriguing complex of seven earthen mounds was identified in the Town of Stephentown. These mounds were discovered by Mr. Loren Dobert, a Taborton-area resident who possesses an exceptional knowledge of the forest on the southern Rensselaer NY Plateau. The seven mounds range from 9 feet to 15 feet in length, 3.3

feet to 6 feet in width, and 16 inches to 32 inches in height. There is no particular pattern to the placement of the mounds in relationship to each other, but all seven mounds align exactly north-south.

in height and shape? If they were created in this manner, why have no others been found anywhere in the Rensselaer Plateau area, and so very few in the Northeast as a whole? The newly discovered Stephentown mounds have been measured, plotted using GPS and GIS technologies, and photographed. A detailed site report was completed and filed with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, with a copy to the Tribal Preservation Office.

A natural source for the mounds is possible. If very large trees were felled by a straight-line wind from the west, tree-root pads might fall in a position were they eventually rotted once the tree trunks were cut away and put to use. But could a wind event leave pillow-shaped rectangular mounds that are very similar

Determining the origin of the mounds requires professional archaeological examination, which could be accomplished with permission from New York State DEC. In the meantime the site remains safe from disturbance in a rarely-visited location buried in the forest of the Rensselaer Plateau.

The Great Bear Chase: A Mohican Tale The Stars in the Great Bear constellation are men in heaven who hunt the bear. The chase begins in the spring and lasts through the summer. In the fall the hunters wound the bear and his blood falls, turning the leaves red. By winter the sky Indians kill the bear and his fat is the snow that falls to the earth. The approaching summer melts the fat and turns it into sap that rises in trees.

Winter 2014 Newsletter- Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley