Breaking News: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

“Once they dismantle them, that is a desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.” Doug Harris, Narragansett Tribe

Excerpt:  Make way for the gas pipeline

One issue central to the native community in New England are sacred ceremonial stones along the path of the Tennessee Gas pipeline that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. In Sandisfield, most of the stones that were identified have been destroyed, though some were preserved by Kinder Morgan.

“The eastern tribes utilized the ceremonial stone features a part of their ceremonies calling to the spirit of our mother, the Earth, to bring balance and harmony,” Narragansett Indian Tribe Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris said. “From that, we interpret that it’s a place where someone may have been killed either by an animal or another human. That area, although a person’s remains may have been taken elsewhere for burial or cremation, would have been greatly traumatized in spirit. In order to bring balance and harmony back to that traumatized area one of the forms was to make prayer in the form of stones calling on the spirit energy of our mother, the Earth.”

Sara Hughes, a spokesperson for Kinder Morgan, confirmed that 13 of 73 ceremonial stone features were relocated. The remaining 60 ceremonial stones were destroyed.

“We were required to relocate 13 after adapting our construction approach to accommodate and avoid the majority of the structures,” she said. “The stone features that remained in place have been protected with signage and fencing during construction activities, and are being closely monitored on a daily basis … The features have been securely stored and will be moved back to their original location and orientation when project restoration occurs. We expect to complete the restoration process and place the project into service by Nov. 1.”

Harris said he was given the opportunity to monitor the process, but refused because he considered it sacrilege.

“They would document them, store them, and then reconstruct them,” he said. “They seemed to feel that this was acceptable and I explained to them that once they dismantle them, that is desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.”

Anne Marie Garti, an attorney representing the Narragansett Indian Tribe,  said FERC did not allow the Tribe’s Historic Office to examine the sites under the National Historic Preservation. FERC gave the go ahead for the project to Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, before that took place.

“The Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office requested rehearing of an order when the staff person at FERC gave the pipeline company an order to proceed,” she said. “And that order, we believe, was not legally issued because the steps that were supposed to have taken under the National Historic Preservation Act had not taken place. FERC had said they would make sure that all the stuff had taken place before the project could proceed when they issued their original order in March 16, 2016. There were all these conditions, one of the conditions was compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.”

The tribe isn’t seeking damages, but wants a re-hearing to make sure that a mistake such as this never happens again, Harris said.

“What we want to draw attention to in the future must happen, otherwise tribal rights are abrogated and the law means nothing, if in fact it is not practiced,” he said. “We are essentially drawing FERC’s attention and the public’s attention to the fact that the National Historic Preservation Act has not been followed and therefore the rights of the tribe has not been allowed. That should not be the standard operating procedure going forward.”

Garti said FERC typically waits until a pipeline is completed before a re-hearing takes place.

“And then they go in and try to say that it’s moot; that it no longer matters, but the courts don’t buy that because it’s very hard to get an injury just thrown out of court like that … It’s been taking about a year.”

The ancient culture of the Americas is something that everyone in the country should be willing to preserve, not just people with Native American ancestry, he said.

“There is a responsibility of not only tribes to step forward and to point to these issues, but the public in general — our partners in sustaining and protecting that of which is antiquity,” Harris said.

READ: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

NOTE: Destroyed? How would this area react if a colonial church and cemetery were destroyed? Once I compose myself and stop crying, I will draft a letter to Kinder Morgan. LT who lives here in Pocumtuck Territory.

‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review | ‘Hostiles’ Review | Variety

Jessica Chastain commands respect in this true story of a modern woman who fought white prejudice to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull.

Woman Walks Ahead” offers dimension to its leading lady, but holds its Native characters to the same old surface stereotypes.

 

READ: ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review: Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weldon | Variety

A ruthless killer of Native Americans learns that some ‘savages’ are worth saving in a Western that isn’t nearly as progressive as it thinks…

But just how progressive is a movie that draws a false equivalency between individual Indian attacks and large-scale, government-sanctioned genocide?

READ: ‘Hostiles’ Review: Christian Bale Reunites With ‘New World’ Co-Star | Variety

Chills, Race, Chin Tattoos, The Powerful’s Brain Damage, Really Old Fossils, Racial Imposters

WONDERFUL CHILLS! A 400-year-old gourd that Grand Chief Membertou gave to his French godfather has returned to Nova Scotia.  GOOD READ: Mi’kmaq curator gets ‘chills’ from rediscovered Membertou artifact – Nova Scotia – CBC News

 

When New Zealand was colonized in the 1800s, the ancient Māori practice of moko kauae—or sacred female facial tattooing—began to fade away. Now the art form is having a resurgence. Here’s what it means to stamp your identity on your face.  READ: ‘It’s Transformative’: Māori Women Talk About Their Sacred Chin Tattoos – Broadly

Over time, leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise. [So the further you get away from personal poverty to wealth – your brain stops caring about the welfare of others…] READ UP: Power Causes Brain Damage – The Atlantic

The 300,000-year-old bones and stone tools were discovered in a surprising place—and could revise the history of our species.

Source: Scientists Have Found the Oldest Known Human Fossils – The Atlantic

 

 

By Lara Trace (Me-Searcher and Researcher)

Howdy Everyone! So glad you are here reading my refreshed blog.  (I hope the new template is easy to navigate too.) Every Friday or as news breaks, I’ll be posting. This is a long post so please forgive me for sharing so much.

Lots of important news happened (some posted above and below).  You might remember I wrote months ago about historical events (click>) We’re not supposed to Know.  Of course I was writing about local issues but they morphed into national issues.

There is a whole lot we are not supposed to know.  Like The Civil War! Most people hated history in school or opted out or obviously skipped class. American History is not exactly a quick easy study. I believe it was historian Eric Foner who wrote something like, “America’s history starts in 1865.”  Well, that is a BIGLY problem, even for the current President. As George Orwell said, the best way to destroy a people is to destroy their history.

On Facebook in August I posted that I am the descendant of Slave Owners. Monsters. I am still wrapping my mind around this (as a Me-Searcher) — in light of current events in Virginia and a bloody (un)Civil War we are re-experiencing now.  When I was writing One Small Sacrifice and digging through ancestry files, I found that a Kentucky great-great-grandmother Lettice Bland left a will leaving her slaves to her heirs.  Human beings sold to benefit the slave holder and family, my own ancestors did that.  Since no one ever told me this story, I wasn’t supposed to know. (But thankfully we have the internet to help us dig.) Yes, I am multi-racial, and accept my ancestral complexity with open arms and with horrified indignation. I noticed in the Bland genealogy, they were careful to leave slave-holders slave’s names absent (though many still carry the Bland name)…. hmmm.

Here’s a link to Natives talking Race (Many are mixed and proud)

“Slavery and Its Legacies” podcast launched here

Have you dug up the ghosts in your family tree? I am still learning LOTS listening to the Yale podcasts.

Many who read this blog will remember I covered the Osage Murders and then this happened: The Rare Archival Photos Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ – Atlas Obscura (TOP PHOTO)

Slavery (and Native history) as our history is not taught well.  Remember the lack of truth-filled history in textbooks had a purpose. Thus we have a 2017 problem.  And we have a president (for now) who thinks out loud on Twitter.  His grasp of history is so very poor. He’d fail a basic history test like many Americans.

A human person cannot grow spiritually until they see injustice all around and stop it in its tracks. It starts now, here, with me, and with you.

Would we have all these racism problems if we had a good grasp of our own American history and what really happened here? and What is happening now?

How many people know their ENTIRE ancestral make-up?   Check out:  With the rise of spit-in-a-cup genetic testing, there’s a trend of white nationalists using these services to prove their racial identity. Read: White nationalists flock to genetic ancestry tests. Some don’t like the result…

 

What is a Me-Searcher Code Switch on NPR One | 29:33

Listen: A Prescription For “Racial Imposter Syndrome” : NPR One

Alison Fornes, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.  Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican. As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.  LISTEN: A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet – The Takeaway – WNYC

One last thing to consider about knowing your history:

Come back next Friday for more! Thanks for reading this blog! XOX

Change Is Coming: Youth Suicide Pacts, Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act and more news

By Lara Trace Hentz

I am still on my hiatus, of course, but these stories I have covered on this news blog before (kinda). I will be back later in 2017. That is, if we don’t suffer a nuke someday soon.

***

From August 11, 2017 at Indian Country Today

Wawatay News reported that the Canadian Army responded to a declaration of emergency by the government of Wapekeka, an Oji-Cree community of about 400, located about 375 miles north of Thunder Bay. The emergency was an epidemic of youth suicide. The First Nation asked for outside help after the third suicide by a 12-year-old girl this year and discovery of suicide pacts among some youngsters.

The Army sent a unit of Rangers—an all-indigenous unit of part time reservists—with an assignment to conduct night patrols and daytime activities for at risk youth.

Chief Brennan Sainnawap commented in extending thanks to the responding Rangers:

There were no suicides after the Rangers arrived. There were attempts but no suicides. The Rangers coming in helped our staff on the ground and the whole of the community to have a chance to rest. We were traumatized and exhausted. The Rangers gave us breathing room.

The Rangers did not approach the assignment as policing. They spread out in the community and tried to get to know the kids, but they did take custody of some suicide paraphernalia. They made lots of referrals to suicide counselors. A few kids were airlifted for emergency treatment.

As the government was able to bring in more civilian help the reservists withdrew as a unit, but individual friendships remain. If Chief Sainnawap’s evaluation is correct, the Rangers hit the sweet spot of signifying to the kids that the government cares without becoming an oppressive force.

Cousin Ray helpfully pointed out once more that the responding unit was indigenous, and it might have been harder for a unit made up of settlers to find the sweet spot even with the best intentions.

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For First Nations, the end of the Indian Act is an opportunity to return to tradition and empower indigenous female leaders

Sandra LaFleur • August 12, 2017

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s historic announcement of a move away from the 141 year old Indian Act had to have left some Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and provincial Indigenous leaders scratching their heads. Indigenous activist leaders (land protectors, water protectors, suicide watch groups), Native Women’s Association of Canada {NWAC}, Idle No More {INM}, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), grassroots people and the average non-indigenous Canadian are also likely, wondering what a life beyond the Indian Act means and how the move will affect them in their day to day lives.

… Let’s use Monaco as an example

The Treaty of Versailles is an agreement between France and Monaco similar to that of First Nations treaty’s with the Crown (Britain’s representative; Canada), is eerily similar in basic foundation….

Monaco has its own law enforcement similar to what is already implemented on most First Nation communities. And the near two mile sovereign state also has a Constitution of Monaco (adopted in 1962 and updated to reflect government power and legislative changes). Furthermore and somewhat, simplistically, Monaco’s agreement with France came in part by Monaco’s cessation of land to (similar as First Nation’s and the Crown’s agreement on land), France and in return, an agreement was reached wherein, a part of France’s obligation is a responsibility to militarily protect Monaco.

There are many more similarities however; the Treaty of Versailles could be a starting point in building First Nation, nation-to-nation legislation, with Canada.

First Nation government leaders, activists, FN women’s groups and all affected parties need to start the process.

The process could be as simple as surveying individual First Nation members on who they would like to see sit at the helm; in mediating the drafting of new legislation.

Read the entire Op-ED: Change Is Coming: Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act – Indian Country Media Network

 

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A new Navajo law criminalizes human trafficking on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

READ: Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking – Indian Country Media Network

 

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U.S. House appropriators did what they could before recess to limit dramatic cuts to American Indian programs proposed by the Trump administration.

READ: Trump’s Proposed Cuts to American Indian Programs Still in Play – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

 

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Museums Move to Return Human Remains to Indigenous Peoples – The New York Times

top photo

 

Blog Bonus: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List | The Other Slavery

On Earth Day, thousands marched in support of science and the environment. But as these stories show, the fight has just begun.

READ: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List

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TOP PHOTO:

Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

Source: Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

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Review of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

My review of Andrés Reséndez’s The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America is up on JOTWELL: Equality. I highly recommend the book. It’s a dense and emotionally difficult read but well worth it for the knowledge you will gain. One of the things I was struck with was that the removal of Indian children from their homes by social services agencies has its roots in hundreds of years of stealing Indian children into slavery.

Another key historical antecedent to these removals was the genocidal boarding school system, which came to the forefront in the late 1800s.

Footnote By LT  (writing a new book) (one novella fiction about dogs and Tillamook, OR)

Hey there! If you are a reader, for more history of Indian child removal, I compiled: The Lost Children Book Series.

American Indian Adoptees blog (since 2010)

In coming months/years I plan to be researching/writing on how American Indian history was deliberately colonized in print, in news, in movies…as propaganda and poop. This is a form of war.  More of “What we are not supposed to know…”

Thanks to everyone for your comments and reading this blog ❤

BIG NEWS: Nebraska Liquor Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Lose Licenses

Read more about Oglala Lakota here (top photo)

Here’s a story I wrote about Ellowyn’s life in 2007 and the road blocks to the rez… here

For First Time, Met’s Indigenous Art in American Wing | Leanne Betasamosake Simpson | Guardian of a holy lake

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With a major gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its galleries on American art.

Significantly, the museum states that the art will be displayed in the American Wing, as previously indigenous works from the United States were sequestered in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries.

Source: For the First Time, Metropolitan Museum Will Display Indigenous Art in Its American Wing

*****

  Leanne Betasamosake Simpson wants to make sure the Anishinaabe people are able to hear their own stories. Through writing and music, she has been able to do so, while also bringing the voices of her people to the wider world. The Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist just released her latest album, f(l)ight, on Sept. 30, 2016 and will follow with a connected book of poetry in 2017. Simpson began her career as a writer, but eventually found a way for her poetry and music to flow together and create new meaning about the past and future of her indigenous community. Q&Q spoke to Simpson about how storytelling has always been a part of her life, the accident that made her realize her poetry should be put to music, and her goal to tell the true story of her people. How do music and your writing connect for you? Poetry and lyric writing are both about storytelling for me. I want to take audiences and readers on a journey that’s not just intellectual but also political and artistic and

READ: Q&A: Anishinaabe artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on combining poetry and music | Quill and Quire

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Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat…

READ: The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia | World news | The Guardian

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Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity – The New York Times

Mother Drum | A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

The recent unearthing of a Native American City beneath the modern metropolis of Miami was the initial inspiration for filmmaker and video artist Dara Friedman’s latest work, Mother Drum.  In the summer of 2015, Friedman travelled to powwows on the Swinomish Reservation in Washington, the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Idaho, and Crow Agency Reservation in Montana, where she met with Native American Fancy dancers and drummers.  Instead of presenting a straightforward documentation of these social gatherings, Friedman filmed the dancers and drummers performing solely for her camera, apart from the main events. The resulting footage is a poetic, evocative meditation on the power of movement, music, and ceremony.  The three-channel video, just over 14 minutes, will be on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran starting this Friday.

A performance featuring one of the dancers from the film will take place during the opening reception at 7:45pm.

When: Opens Friday, March 31, 6–8pm

Where: Kayne Griffin Corcoran (1201 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Source: A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

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The Miseducation of Frank Waln | What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans #NoDAPL #WETIKO

On and off the reservation, schools tend to whitewash the stories of Native Americans.

Frank Waln, a Lakota hip-hop artist from He Dog…

Your history books (lies)
Your holidays (lies)
Thanksgiving lies and Columbus Day
Tell me why I know more than the teacher
Tell me why I know more than the preacher
Tell me why you think the red man is red
Stained with the blood from the land you bled
Tell me why you think the red man is dead

READ: The Miseducation of Frank Waln

What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans

The sacredness of the pipeline site

At different national and international venues, Lakota leader Dave Archambault Jr. has stated that the Lakota view the area near the potential construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as both a “sacred place” and a “burial site,” or as both a place set aside from human presence and a place of human reverence.

Lakota scholar Vine Deloria Jr. described the “sacred stones” in North Dakota in his book “The World We Used to Live In” as having the ability of “forewarning of events to come.”

Deloria described how Lakota religious leaders went to these stones in the early morning to read their messages. Deloria shared the experiences of an Episcopal minister from 1919.

“A rock of this kind was formerly on Medicine Hill near Cannon Ball Sub-station…. Old Indians came to me… and said that the lightning would strike someone in camp that day, for a picture (wowapi) on this holy rock indicated such an event…. And the lightning did strike a tent in camp and nearly killed a woman…. I have known several similar things, equally foretelling events to come, I can not account for it.”

Deloria explained that it was “birds, directed by the spirit of the place, [that] do the actual sketching of the pictures.” The Lakota named this area Ínyanwakagapi for the large stones that served as oracles for their people.  The Americans renamed it Cannonball.

BIG READ: What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans | Observer

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” —Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Five Lessons from Standing Rock

MEMORY FIRE HOPE

By LT

I had heard and read of this mind virus years ago:

The Wetiko Virus

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the White man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land infested by “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us.
~ Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle6

Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live. (Think of the political climate in the USA)

In his now classic book Columbus and Other Cannibals, Native American historian Jack D. Forbes describes how there was a commonly-held belief among many Indigenous communities that the European colonialists were so chronically and uniformly infected with wetiko that it must be a defining characteristic of the culture from which they came. Examining the history of these cultures, Forbes laments, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.”7

KEEP READING

“Wetiko,” a Native American word, simply means “a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others by means of evil acts.”

Dispelling Wetiko HERE

 

[You may have noticed this but the MIX emag/blog has closed its doors. We had a good run for three years, but with too many other pressing commitments, it was time to let that blog go… xox to all who read it… Trace]

Pequot in New Zealand | Signing The Treaty of Waitangi | New Zealand history | Native Land Court

By Lara Trace Hentz

When I was editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut, we had a visit from a Maori woman descended from Peter George. It was fascinating to meet her!

Here is a look at this interesting and devastating history…

 

Illustration of whalemen by Francis Allyn Olmsted. Gen MSS Vol 151, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Yale University.

A Pequot in New Zealand?

Geomap: Peter George, Mashantucket Pequot Whaler

This story map is about Peter George, an American Indian whaleman, citizen of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and part of a whaling and seafaring dynasty that emerged from the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in second half of the eighteenth century.

Peter was born in 1805, in the midst of social, political, and religious upheaval, and knew at an early age that there was little opportunity for the Pequots who remained on the tiny reservation in southeastern Connecticut. ,Like his father, uncle, and old brother, Peter went to New London and found work as a mariner. Peter’s seafaring career began by the time he was twenty-one years old and continued until he was nearly fifty.  He was on eight known whaling voyages, bringing him to whaling grounds of the Falkland Islands, sometimes refered to as the ”Brazil Banks,” the south Atlantic, or “East Cape” of New Zealand, and the Pacific Ocean.

Between his voyages, Peter married twice, had children, built a house, and was involved in tribal affairs. Later in his life he was called “Captain” Peter George, an acknowledgement of a life spent at sea. Peter died at his home on the reservation in the summer of 1861 at the age of 56.

Story Chapters

  1. 1. 1805 – Peter George, Son of Peter and Polly
  2. 2. 1819 – “As Long as Wood Grows and the Water Runs”
  3. 3. 1826 – False Accusations
  4. 4. 1827 – The Port of New London
  5. 5. 1832 – Work and Marriage
  6. 6. 1831-1833 – Dirty Work
  7. 7. 1832-1833 – Whaling Off the Coast of New Zealand
  8. 8. 1833-1834 – At Home on Mashantucket
  9. 9. 1834 – Return to the Sea on the Ship Neptune
  10. 10. 1839-1842 – Incidents On A Whaling Voyage
  11. 11. 1848-1852 – Falkland Islands and New Goods from a Deserter
  12. 12. 1849-1852 – The Giants of Patagonia
  13. 13. 1856 – Pequot Land Sale
  14. 14. 1857 – Suing the Overseer for Tribal Membership
  15. 15. 1861 – Peter’s Death
  16. 16. 1913 – Peter’s Legacy

Printable Version

Peter George, Mashantucket Pequot Whaler

Chapter 1

Peter George, Son of Peter and Polly

1805; Mashantucket, CT

In 1805, Polly Apes George, the wife of Peter George, gave birth to their second son, Peter. At the time of young Peter’s birth, several Pequot families had just finished their move to Brothertown, New York as part of a religious migration. Peter’s father (also Peter) and uncle, Benjamin George, who were considered among the “Cheifs and Councellors” of the Pequot Tribe, remained at Mashantucket with their families.  Providing for their families was challenging as reservation lands continued to shrink.  There were opportunities off the reservation and most Pequot men, including elder Peter and Benjamin, went to New London to find work as mariners.

Chapter 2

“As Long as Wood Grows and the Water Runs”

1819; Old State House, Hartford, CT

After several Pequot leaders removed to Brothertown, the State of Connecticut appointed overseers began to manage the affairs of the tribe, as Indian people were widely viewed by whites as unable to do so.  Though in practice earlier, the system was formalized in 1821.  These men were required to manage the rent of tribal land, the accounting of provisons and other necessities allocated to tribal members, and to maintain a list of tribal member names.  Problems with the white overseers at Mashantucket led to a string of petitions by members of the Pequot Tribe to remove corrupt and opportunistic men as their “guardians” and replace them with more honorable people.

 

Chapter 3

False Accusations

1826; New London, CT – Courthouse

While his brother Peleg was away (possibly at sea), Peter was accused of an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife, Lucretia.  The complaint was brought by a member of one of the families renting Pequot land.  A warrant was issued and Peter was arrested and brought before the local justice of the peace.  Several in the Pequot communicty served as witnesses in the case and Peter was eventually found “Not Guilty in manner and Form as is alleged.”  It is unclear what precipitated this false accusation, but many of the overseers and neighbors of the Pequot engaged in retaliatory activities following Pequot complaints to the General Assembly.  In one instance, an outgoing overseer provided a list of people in the tribe and all members of the Goerge family were excluded.

Chapter 4

The Port of New London

1827; New London, CT Waterfrong

New London’s whaling fleet grew rapidly during the 1820’s and signing on board of a whaler meant good pay for a successful voyage.  Peter was already considered a “seaman” by the time he departed for his first known whaling voyage in October 1827 aboard the ship Friends.  He was about 5’7 1/2″ tall and identified by various customs officals as “dark,” “yellow,” and “Indian.”  Working on a whaler was physically demanding.  In port, preparation involved loading ballast and stocking the ship with supplies for the hunt as well as the food and water necessary for long periods of time at sea.  At sea, men climbed rigging to raise and lower sails, maintaining and repairing sails, ropes, and deck areas.  Although there is no record of Peter’s official position, we know from records that his brother was a cooper. Might Peter have also held this position?

The image above shows a scrimshawed sperm whale tooth, carved with image of the ship Friends.  Script below sea reads: “Friends of New London Chaseing Whales.”

 

Chapter 5

Work and Marriage

1832; “North Groton” / Ledyard

On May 2, 1832, Peter George married Lucy Fagins, an Eastern Pequot from North Stonington.  On that same day he boarded the ship Palladium of New London, bound for the East Cape (New Zealand).  This situation was a typical one for whaling wives and families as fathers, husbands, brothers and sons often left home for months and even years.

Chapter 6

Dirty Work

1831-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand

Although we do not know exactly what Peter’s position was on the ship Palladium, we do know that whaling was dangerous and dirty work.  Peter most likely joined the rest of the crew in small whaleboats like the model pictured. The crew would chase the whale and use a harpoon and killing lance to capture and eventually kill it.  The whale would then be towed back to the ship, where it was “cut in” and “tried out.”  The oil rentered from the whale was an importnant source of lighting in the 19th Century.

Chapter 7

Whaling Off the Coast of New Zealand

1832-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand

This was Peter’s second voyage on the Palladium as it returned to the East Cape whaling grounds off the coast of New Zealand.  Peter left New London this time with a familiar face, that of his cousin Solomon Apes.  Only a few vessels had noted this particular destination prior to the Palladium visits.  This time period coincided with increased European and American interaction with and settlement amongst the Maori tribes of New Zealand.  By 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi (New Zealand’s founding document) had been crafted, which quickly resulted in escalating tension over land rights.

The year before the treaty was signed, Elisha Apes (Solomon’s brother), a crew member of the New London whaler Ann Maria, mutinied off the coast of New Zealand over the captain’s abuse of the ship’s boy.  Eventually, an agreement was made and Apes put ashore at Port Otago.  Soon after, he married a local Ngai Tahu woman and they had many children. Apes and his children were active in Maori land claims and some were well known sheep shearers and shore whalers. Most of Apes’ decendants remain in New Zealand to this day.

Apes never left New Zealand, but did his whaling relatives ever visit?

Chapter 8

At Home on Mashantucket

1833-1834; Off Shewville Road, Mashantucket, CT

Peter remained at Mashantucket for nearly two and a half years and was noted in a December 1833 tribal census — “age 28, part white.”  During his stay, he planned to build a house, but for unknown reasons, he sold the timber intended for that purpose.  Eventually, in early 1834, the tribal overseer commissioned a house to be built for Peter in the northwestern part of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation.

Chapter 9

Return to the Sea on the Ship Neptune

1834; South Atlantic Ocean

In June 1834, Peter returned to sea – fittingly – aboard the ship Neptune of New London on a whaling voyage to the South Atlantic.  Peter’s cousin, Elisha Apes, as well as Isaac Hazard (a Narragansett Indian) and Thomas Smith (a Mohegan Indian) were also aboard the nearly two-year voyage.  Soon after his departure, a daughter, Lucy Ann George was born.

Chapter 10

Incidents On A Whaling Voyage

1839-1842; Galapagos Islands

By age 34, Peter was a seasoned whaleman having been on at least five whaling voyages.  For eight years, he would only be on the land between voyages for a total of thirteen months.  It is clear that the sea had become home.  During this time, in October 1839, he joined the crew of the bark ship North America of New London along with George Cotrell (also Mashantucket Pequot), and John Uncas (a Mohegan).  Headed to the Pacific Ocean, the voyage would last for two and a half years.

On this voyage was a young Yale graduate, Francis Allyn Olmsted – a passenger and observer- on his way to a warmer Pacific climate to relieve a chronic illness.  Olmstead kept a journal on board that he later published in 1841 as “Incidents on a Whaling Voyage.”

Peter and his crewmates would have seen or participated in nearly everything that Olmsted recorded and illustrated, including the sea chanties Ho, Ho, and Up She Rises and Nancy Fanana.  (To hear these songs, look for the two chanties on side bar, under Related Resources.)

Chapter 11

Falkland Islands and New Goods from a Deserter

1848-1852; Falkland Islands

On November 3, 1848, Peter George was among the crew of the ship Hudson with his nephew, Amos W. George, and Peter Babcock (Mashantucket Pequot), as it departed Mystic.  Marine journals report that the Hudson was bound for the Falkland Islands on a whaling voyage.  Though no crew list or logbook has been located for this voyage, other documents inform us of events that took place on board the vessel.

A little more than a year into the voyage, one of the crewmembers deserted the vessel, leaving behind all of his belongings.  Subsequently, an auction of his possessions was conducted and a list created as “An Account of Articles Sold At Auction Belonging to J.M. Oat – Found After his Disertion, December 30th 1849.”  The items purchased by Peter George were one duck frock and a dictionary; by Amos George, one pair duck pants, one pair of boots, one flint, and a lot of books and tracts; by Peter Babcock, one vest, one pair of duck pants, one flannel shirt, twenty four heads of tobacco and one bottle.

Chapter 12

The Giants of Patagonia

1849-1852; Puerto San Julian, Argentina

Later in the voyage, while at “Port Santa Cruz” (now Puerto San Julian, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina) with its “tender,” schooner Washington, the ship Hudson welcomed aboard for nearly a month, Benjamin F. Bourne.  Bourne, who was a mate aboard the New Bedford schooner John Allyne earlier in 1849, had just escaped 97 days of captivity with the Indians of Patagonia.  The accounts he shared with the crew of the Hudson soon made it into wider newspaper circulation around the Atlantic.  His account was such a sensation that in 1853, he published a book about his experiences called The Giants of Patagonia.

This was Peter’s last confirmed voyage.  He may have been on part of another voyage on the ship Kensington out of New Bedford, and his absence between May 1853 and January 1855, might suggest such a scenario.  He was also on town expense in Groton for unknown reasons, so he may have taken ill after his return on the Hudson.

Chapter 13

Pequot Land Sale

1856; Mashantucket, CT

In 1855, the Connecticut General Assembly appointed a committee to investigate the condition of the “Pequot Indians of Ledyard.”  They reported that there were but thirteen tribal members, living in five houses dispersed across some 900 acres:  mostly females – “some quite aged” while others “had chosen Negroes for companions.”

The committee reported that “it is not presumption to suppose, judging from the past, that they will soon become extinct” and recommended that some 700 acres of Mashantucket be surveyed, subdivided, and sold at public auction, with the proceeds going into a fund for tribal support.  The remaining 179 acres would be designated as a “reservation for the use and benefit of Indians.”  The General Assembly passed an act in June 1855, authorizing the land sale.  Pequots, including “Capt. Peter George,” twice submitted a petition to the General Assembly protesting Connecticut’s illegal sale of tribal land.

Chapter 14

Suing the Overseer for Tribal Membership

1857; Courthouse, New London, CT

After the Pequot Land Sale, some tribal families were denied rights as citizens of Mashantucket and prevented from accessing tribal resources.  Outraged, tribal members sued the overseer in April 1857 for the acknowledgement of their rights.  Peter George, his sister Sally George Babcock, and her children were among the plantiffs.  Following testimony in which they provided a genealogical history of their family, the New London Superior Court resolved the suit in their favor.

This was significant, as access to tribal resources mattered more than ever.  Now in his 50s, Peter was aging, and after many years at sea, he had returned to the land.  Living on the land and no longer earning a seaman’s lay must have been somewhat foreign to Peter.  He was now cohabitating with another Pequot, Caroline Wheeler, and after the court case, began to recieve the benefits of tribal resources including access to cash for necessities, meat, potatoes, and dairy products in the winter, and seed corn, beans, and guano for fertilizer in the spring for planting.  Clothing, supplies and shoes were also provided.

Chapter 15

Peter’s Death

1861; Tribal Cemetery, Mashantucket, CT

At the outbreak of the Civil War in early 1861, many Pequots were still whaling in the Pacific Ocean.  At home, Peter was sick.  On Febrary 6th, a doctor went to the reservation “for attendance and medicine for Peter George.”  In late May, the tribal overseer visited him.  By August 4th, Peter died.  He was 56 years old.  Caroline’s daughter, Jane Wheeler, went “to Norwich after Coffin for Peter and notifying friends” of his death.  Though no marked stone identifies his burial location, Peter was likely interred at the tribal burying ground known as “Peter’s Hill Cemetery.”

Chapter 16

Peter’s Legacy

1913; Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

In 1913, Yale Peabody Museum anthropologist, George Grant MacCurdy, visited the Pequots at Mashantucket.  While there, he purchased from Jane Wheeler a whalebone handled knife.  Who made this knife?  Did Jane inherit the knife from her mother and Peter?  Did it come from another Pequot whaleman?  What other objects did Pequot whalemen like Peter leave behind?

Perhaps the whalebone handled knife went along with stories like this:

“My grandmother [Elizabeth George Plouffe] would tell us stories about how Pequots at one time were whalers, and this was even during the time the reservation was there and they used to come down here to Mystic and they used to go aboard the old whaling ships, like the Charles W. Morgan . . . and they would go out to sea.  Sometimes they would be gone for three, six months and sometimes a year at a time.  And then the Pequots would come back and they would (in the area after they’d finished their whaling voyage and then come back to the reservation), they would go back to the house, because it was the center of activity.  And in those days they called the old house “the beehive.”  And they would come back with their stories, and my grandmother said she could remember some of these stories from the time when she was a child, that her mother [Martha Hoxie] used to tell her because her mother was a child at that time.  Martha Hoxie used to tell my grandmother how that when she was a kid when the men would come back from the whaling voyages and sometimes, well, oftentimes they’d bring back their bottles with ’em, and they would sit around jawing about their experiences, they’d get a little tipsy.  And they’d get started getting a little loud and my great-grandmother, Martha Hoxie, would get a little nervous because she was a kid at the time, about their being loud and whatnot and she would run underneath her mother’s [Jane Wheeler] hoop skirt and hide.  That was her place of refuge.” – Richard A. “Skip” Hayward, 1995

Related Resources

Historical Background:  The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.

Interactive reproduction of the 1840 Waikato-Manukau copy of the Treaty of Waitangi

SEE: Waikato-Manukau treaty copy | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

Those who explained the treaty to Māori generally stressed the advantages of bringing British settlers under the control of the Crown, which some chiefs had been asking for since 1831. They played down the impact of the British acquisition of sovereignty and its likely consequences for Māori. Missionary assurances that the treaty would be of benefit to Māori probably helped to overcome the caution of many chiefs. Some chiefs, especially in Northland, saw the treaty as a sacred bond or covenant directly between themselves and Queen Victoria. Many who signed were devout Christians who made no distinction between the Crown and the teachings of Christianity. Many Māori had clear expectations of how they would benefit.  A sharing of authority would enhance chiefly mana. The country would be protected from acquisition by other foreign powers. A kawana (governor) would control Europeans, especially those buying land, who were causing trouble in some areas. The treaty would bring settlement, and with it both more markets for essential Māori services and desired trade goods.

Some chiefs realised that change was inevitable. The clock could not be turned back; the treaty was a way into the future.

Source: Signing the treaty – Treaty signatories and signing locations | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

Native Land Court created, 30 October 1865

Native Land Court at Ahipara (Alexander Turnbull Library, 1/2-026780; F)

 

The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It provided for the conversion of traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land.

Coming little more than a year after the Waikato War, this legislation was to achieve what many believed had not been accomplished on the battlefield – acquiring the land necessary to satisfy an insatiable settler appetite. The operations of the Land Court affected Māori more than those of any other colonial institution. When old rivalries were played out in court, the ultimate beneficiaries were Pākehā.  Historian Judith Binney described the Native Lands Act as an ‘act of war’.

The Court was required to name no more than 10 owners, regardless of the size of a block.  All other tribal members were effectively dispossessed.  The newly designated owners held their lands individually, not communally as part of (or trustees for) a tribal group.  They could manage it, and sell it, as individuals and for their own benefit.

The first chief judge of the Court, Francis Fenton, maintained that judgements could only be based on evidence before the Court – so all claimants had to attend, whether they wanted to or not. Many Māori racked up large legal bills as a consequence. Those coming from out of town also faced the costs of food and accommodation. Lawyers, shopkeepers, surveyors and the like granted Māori credit while they awaited the outcome of their case. These expenses forced many Māori to sell the land they had been defending in order to settle their debts.

This process of alienating Māori land concerned some settler politicians. Former Attorney-General Henry Sewell had protested against the government’s policy of confiscating the land of Māori deemed to be ‘in rebellion’. Back in office in 1865, he asserted that the Native Land Court was designed to:

destroy if possible, the principle of communism which ran through the whole of their institutions, upon which their social system was based, and which stood as a barrier in the way of all attempts to amalgamate the Native race into our own social and political system.

Māori landholdings declined dramatically in the late 19th century. Between 1870 and 1892, 2 million ha of Māori land was transferred to Pākehā ownership. Whereas at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 Māori owned almost all of the North Island, by 1892 they owned little more than a third, and a quarter of this was leased to Pākehā. Another 1.2 million ha of Māori land would be sold by 1900.

Source

I am also sharing another post of Maori photos… and an art exhibit about this.

Louise Erdrich on ‘LaRose,’ and the Psychic Territory of Native Americans | In The Veins @BlueHandBooks #NoDAPL

By Lara Trace Hentz  (poet-writer) (founder of Blue Hand Books)

I am remiss in mentioning I’m in the new poetry anthology IN THE VEINS (released 2-1-2017) and last year I did mention the poetry book TENDING THE FIRE by Chris Felver that is coming out in 2017.   Louise and I are both that book.  NICE!

Louise’s bookstore BIRCHBARK BOOKS (top photo) in Minnesota carries some of our Blue Hand Book titles. I am very grateful to her for this. Supporting me as a small press and publisher helps me publish new Native authors.

click logo to visit them

I founded Blue Hand Books in 2011 to give back to my community, right after I did my memoir One Small Sacrifice.  Since then we have published 18 books, with four volumes in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series. (TWO WORLDS was the first anthology.)  In the Veins is Volume 4.  A portion of the proceeds from this poetry book edited by Patricia Busbee will be sent to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Camps (#NoDAPL).

Here is one of my poems from IN THE VEINS

…When People of the First Light saw ships and strangers disembark

…When the conqueror ran out of the woods firing loaded guns

…When they loaded some of us onto slave boats in shackles

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When an Indigenous mother loses her child at gun point

…When her child is punished by a nun, kicked in the neck

…When her child dies in residential school, buried in an unmarked grave

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When a black sedan enters the rez and children run and hide, afraid

…When a Cheyenne adoptee is a small boy, watching westerns on TV, he is told he is Indian

…When a Navajo adoptee is taken at the hospital and disappears, raised by Mormons

Then a trickle becomes a river, then a flood ….. of tears.

The people who chained, who murdered, who hacked, who raped, who hated their way across North America… they are still here, too.

ebook-cover-vein

Read an IN THE VEINS excerpt HERE.  My Ojibwe scholar friend blogger Dr. Carol A. Hand (who I interviewed on this blog) and my dear friend and Unravelling anthology co-editor MariJo Moore and many many other Native American and First Nations poets (some of them famous or soon-to-be) contributed prose and poems for this beautiful new book. If you love poetry, you will love this… LINK to BUY from BHB.

COMING SOON! Blue Hand Books is publishing a brand new novella by Barbara Robidoux, author of Sweetgrass Burning.

WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

 

Her Empire is Her Reality, Sierra Edd

“Dooming a person’s existence to that of a stereotype is worse than never having lived at all.”


Shan Goshorn

The artworks in this exhibition depict women of all ages, strong, powerful, nurturing, caring, desirable, provocative, dangerous, real and supernatural. It highlights individual and communal struggles, concerns and life choices of women from several Native cultures across the continent.

“From a very young age, Chemehuevi women are taught that their innate strength as a woman and life giver is all-powerful, maybe sometimes even supernatural, and we are respected as equals in Chemehuevi society. We hold power in government and historically in battle. This unique perspective shows up throughout my art. It is always my intention to visualize this inherent Chemehuevi belief in the all-powerful, supernatural strength of women.” Cara Romero

Featured artists include Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Shan Goshorn (Cherokee), Marla Allison (Laguna Pueblo), Shelley Niro (Mohawk), Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena & Jewish) and Zoe Urness (Tlingit & Cherokee), Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Sierra Edd (Navajo/Diné) and Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo & Korean).

Source: WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

Last year’s exhibit

Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism | What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t | TED Talk

Standing Fox, a leader of the Apache Stronghold movement, talks about how activism plays an important part in his life as an Apache artist.

What do you hope to communicate to non-Indians through your work?

Standing Fox, “Untitled”

SF: I think that the people in the US tend to forget how rich the culture is on this land. A lot of people go out of this country to volunteer and help other people in need. I want them to know that there are issues in their backyard, on their land. I think it’s very important to know who the original people are here, and to have respect for them. We need help too. I want to show the beauty within this land. I want people to see more than just images of Indians protesting, more than an Indian on Instagram holding up a picture of a poster saying WE ARE STILL HERE. We of course have to do this in order for us to protect the culture and the way, but I feel that it is my job to push the beauty of our culture to the world, by saying this is what we are about, and this is what we are trying to protect.

Source: Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism

***What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again | What is Bermuda’s Connection to the Pequot

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again

READ: This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again PRI´s The World | First Nations Blog – FIRST NATIONS

AND THIS:

By Lara Trace Hentz  (She Covers the Trail)

AQUAY!  Hello, greetings to you in Pequot!  BERMUDA Greeting :: Yo Ace Boy! (Hello good friend!)

This blog still has the theme:  “What you’re not supposed to know” (regarding cracking open Indian history, especially here in New England.)

I have also used this headline:

I don’t know why we don’t know this stuff

It’s heinous how the historic narrative calls American Indians/Native Americans “disappeared, the vanished, relics of the past,” but you will see in these stories, tribes do manage to survive every attempt to erase them and their culture, language and history right here in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

(above video) Jessie Little Doe’s work has helped revitalize and resurrect the Wampanoag language.  I interviewed her many years ago.  What was almost lost forever has been re-claimed, thanks to Jessie.

I blogged here in 2011 about Brinky Tucker who is a historian and descendant of the New England Indians who were sold into slavery into Bermuda.  He authored “St. David’s Island, Bermuda, Its People, History and Culture” – published in 2009, (not on Amazon – but it should be!)  The history of Bermuda involves slavery of Indigenous people… [Book cover, top photo: Tall Oak Weeden (Wampanoag-Pequot) and Brinky Tucker (Bermuda Indian)]. See: Brinky Tucker on Bermuda Indian History

BACK STORY: …relative isolation lasted until the 1930s, when a bridge was constructed connecting St. David’s Island with the rest of Bermuda.  Although there was intermarriage and cohabitation with African slaves, European colonists, and imported Carib Indians, these descendants of New England tribes passed on “origin stories” that connect five St. David’s families, stories about an Indian slave woman named Susannah who claimed to be the granddaughter of King Phillip and traditions of chanting and drumming at a hillside location called Dark Bottom.  After the 1834 emancipation, most former slaves stayed on St. David’s and continued to intermarry with each other.

“Most of the St. David’s Islanders today are of mixed blood,” says St. Clair Tucker, or Brinky, as he prefers to be called, one of the founding members of the St. David’s Island Indian Committee. “The first Indian slave arrived on our shores in 1616, and for the next 200 years the English developed a very profitable slave trade with Africans and Native Americans. Documents prepared by the English indicate that Pequots, Wampanoags, Narragensetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold here.  The only trading port was in St. George’s, about 150 yards from St. David’s….”

In 2002, the Mashantucket Pequot had ceremony to reconnect with their enslaved ancestors, their brothers and sisters found in Bermuda.  Brinky and family members came to Connecticut to meet their Pequot cousins (that’s when I met him) and the next year the Pequot traveled to Bermuda.  Making this connection made new history and friendships that continue to this day.

For decades, tribal culture is its own power and lives in the blood, and shows itself in song, dance and language.

When I spoke with Brinky, he’d met with Pequot tribal council who asked simply, “What do you want?” You might guess the world’s richest tribe was skeptical at first of this history connection.  That is the worrisome part.  Tribes themselves are often unaware of the slavery and mixing that happened in prior centuries, even in Bermuda.

Then-Chairman Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader, went to St. David’s Island in Bermuda to reconnect with Brinky and other Bermuda Indians.

Brinky told the Bermuda newspaper:

“The Native American involvement in Bermuda over the years has been very significant,” he said. “They weren’t always well treated. Some of the stories aren’t pleasant, but it’s better that we know our history.”

He added that the English colonists who originally enslaved the Pequot Indians might well be surprised that their descendants are now celebrating their links to a troubled time. “The English kept great records,” he said. “Little did they know that we’d read them.”

 THEY LOOKED LIKE US
from MANY HOOPS

St. David’s was completely isolated in those early days; in fact, it remained accessible only by boat until as late as 1934.

Beginning around 1616 Wampanoag, Pequots, Narragansetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold in Bermuda.

“Tall Oak” Weeden and a delegation of Wampanoag Indians and Mashantucket Pequots went in search of their people from the slavery era.

They traveled to St. David’s Island in Bermuda.  There they met a small clan claiming to be descended from New England Indian slaves shipped to the island centuries ago.  Weeden’s group was convinced it was true when they saw the faces, dances and ceremonies of the St. David’s Indians.

“I was struck by how much they looked like us,” said Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader.

According to local legend, the wife and son of King Philip might have been among those on St. David’s.  After the king’s death, his wife, Wootonekanuske, is said to have married an African.  This kept alive the genealogical line with Indians in New England. The Pequots plan to dig even further into slavery’s hidden history, Thomas said.  “What’s to be learned is a more accurate perception of Colonial-era history,” he said. “It helps people to understand our insecurities of today.”

If you are into history, here is a link to a short paper about Bermuda’s Native American DNA ancestry. HERE

From Restless Natives, from the Bermuda newspaper THE BERMUDIAN here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pequot War of 1634 to 1638 saw the English colonists of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay join forces with the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes in an attempt to unseat the Pequot, who enjoyed economic and political power in what is now southeastern Connecticut.

“The colonists has guns,” Tucker said.  “The Indians had bow and arrows.”

Captain Anthony White, the largest landowner in Bermuda at the time, purchased these 80 Native Americans. They were sent to live on St. David’s Island and put to work as farmers, boat builders, labourers and fishermen. From that point, the connection between Native Americans and St. David’s was established- and aided, over the following years, by the island’s close proximity to the local slave market.

“When they were brought here, the trading port was St. George’s,” Tucker explained. “Slaves were sold in the square, and masters from St. George’s and St. David’s got the first pick.”

*** Virtual: St David

On the island of St David, a cultural mishmash represents the diversity of Bermudian culture.  The Carter House is a testament to the varied groups of people who settled here, exploring the history of the English, black West Indians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Native Americans and even Scottish and Irish prisoners of war (carterhousemuseum.org).

 

P.S. I left the Pequot Times in 2004.  (I quit and moved to Massachusetts).  The monthly newspaper continued barely another year and then folded.  Massive layoffs by the Pequot Tribal Government shut it down.  That was a huge loss for the tribe and for Connecticut…. and for history.

Melissa, Medicine Woman for the Mohegan tribe, named me “She Covers the Trail.”  My Native friend English professor poet Ron Welburn keeps in close contact with Brinky and has visited him.  Brinky and I exchange Christmas cards.

ojibwe_style_moccasi_cover_for_kindleP.S.S.– If you have any interest in Native authors (and you should), go visit www.bluehandbooks.org – we just published Ojibwe Style Moccasin Game, a handbook by Charles Grolla on how to play the oldest Ojibwe game, given to man by makwa (bear.)

***VERY IMPORTANT

“Who Belongs?” in Indian Country Conference Convenes March 9–10, 2017  TUCSON, ARIZONA – The “Who Belongs? From Tribal Kinship to Native Nation Citizenship to Disenrollment…

READ: A First: Tribal Leaders, Academics to Convene to Discuss Tribal Disenrollment – Native News Online