NATIVE AMERICANS

Archaeologist Ann Morton discusses the Mohican archeological dig with volunteers Bradley Pitts and Rick Wilcox in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans wrapped up their second archeological dig in the Berkshires this summer with a discovery that could shift thinking about the tribe's history in the region.

A photo from 2012 in Belfast, Maine.
Doug Kerr / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/dougtone

The writer Gregory Brown describes his novel "The Lowering Days" as a love letter to where he grew up in Maine. 

The floor of a Mohican house from the 1600s or even older. It was found during an archaeological dig in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Trevor Totman / Courtesy Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians

A goal of two archaeological digs conducted this summer by the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians is to find evidence from the 1700s, when the tribe lived in a Christian community with white colonists. But the first of the digs in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has turned up artifacts and other features that could be much older.

A drawing shows the site of a meetinghouse built in 1739 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The area is the focus of an archaeological dig in summer 2021.
Indian Proprietor Book / Stockbridge Town Clerk's Office

The Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican community is conducting two archaeological digs in western Massachusetts this summer.

Connecticut schools get funds from casinos run by two indigenous tribes — and about a dozen schools with indigenous mascots could lose that funding. That’s if a new part of the state budget goes forward.

May 26, 1637: The Pequot village at Mistick Fort burns. It’s the latest salvo in a war that has the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations on opposite sides.

Nowadays, there’s a “first light ceremony” to commemorate the attack on the fort, according to Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

The great seal of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, from a gravestone in the Stockbridge Cemetery.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

When Stockbridge, Massachusetts, residents hold their annual Town Meeting this spring, they'll vote on whether to take steps to return centuries-old documents to the indigenous tribe that once helped govern the town.

After years of private negotiations with the two tribal nations who operate casinos in Connecticut, the state has reached an agreement with at least one of them on legalized sports betting.

The state of Connecticut and the Mohegan tribal nation are close to announcing an agreement on expanded gaming.

The deal could include a license to operate sports betting in Connecticut -- once it is legalized.

The great seal of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, from a gravestone in the Stockbridge Cemetery.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

Updated Feb. 4, 2021  

Williams College and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians are launching a new collaboration focused on historic preservation. The school is providing a three-room office for the tribe in downtown Williamstown, Massachusetts, and funding student interns.

Bonney Hartley, historic preservation manager of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, stands in the Stockbridge Cemetery, which was once her ancestor's land.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians today are based in Wisconsin. But their homeland spanned the Housatonic and Hudson river valleys, and stretched from Manhattan into Vermont.

Resolve Seeks New Or Revised Massachusetts State Seal And Motto

Jan 7, 2021
Massachusetts state law calls for the seal to include "a blue shield with an Indian thereon, dressed in a shirt, leggings and moccasins, holding in his right hand a bow, and in his left an arrow, pointed downward, all of gold."
Chris Van Buskirk / State House News Service

Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday took a step toward potentially replacing the official state seal and motto, a victory for activists who have argued for decades that the current versions disparage Native Americans.

A rendering of the proposed Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.
Stu Loeser / Tribal Winds

The head of Connecticut's Mohegan Tribe said he remains hopeful a new casino can still be built in East Windsor, even though tribal officials announced this week now is not the time.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun say they won’t build a casino in East Windsor -- for now. The controversial project that united the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes could be the casualty of a bigger plan that involves exclusive rights to operate sports betting in Connecticut.

Native American history would be a mandatory part of public schools in Connecticut, if a bill introduced by State Senator Cathy Osten passes.

WAM Theatre based in Lenox, Massachusetts, took on "The Thanksgiving Play" this season. The show is a sendup of white elementary school teachers trying and failing to do better at teaching this part of American history.
Illustration by Katari Wilson / WAM Theatre

In late October, Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse was among the recipients of a prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant. Among her achievements is "The Thanksgiving Play," now on stage (so to speak) at WAM Theatre, based in Lenox, Massachusetts.

In this pandemic year, the video went live last night and is up through the weekend.

Wampanoag Tribe Leader Indicted For Bribery In Connection With Casino

Nov 13, 2020
A file photo of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell participating in a ceremony at the Massachusetts Statehouse in 2017.
Sam Doran / SHNS

The chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council was arrested Friday morning on federal bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges that prosecutors said stem from a self-enrichment scheme related to the tribe's years-long quest to build a resort casino in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Alan Pearsall's mural in Ipswich, Massachusetts, depicts aspects of the town's history. At lower left, Masconomet is depicted with John Winthrop.
Bill Nelson / State of Massachusetts

I still remember Friday night football games when we, the Masconomet Regional High School Chieftains, ran onto the field as the band and spectators cheered along to the “tomahawk chop.”

Mass. Lawmakers: Replacing State Flag, Seal On State Senate Agenda

Jul 16, 2020
A group of Indigenous people, advocates, and lawmakers gathered outside the Massachusetts Statehouse Thursday, July 16, 2020, calling on the legislature to redesign the state's flag and motto.
Chris Van Buskirk / State House News Service

Three distinct rallies entangled into a mass group of advocates on the Massachusetts Statehouse steps Thursday, with one group calling for a redesign of the state's flag and motto out of respect for Native Americans. It was a moment that spoke to the political charge permeating the state amid debate over racial justice and pandemic impacts.

Turners Falls, Massachusetts.
File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Some residents of Turners Falls, Massachusetts, want to change the name of their village to one they consider more respectful.

Turners Falls was named after Captain William Turner, thought to have led a 17th century battle that killed more than 100 members of the Nipmuc Nation tribe.

A crew from Archaeological and Historical Services Inc. works at one of two dig sites near North King Street in Northampton on Oct. 2, 2019.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

A Native American tribe is calling out opponents to a traffic roundabout in western Massachusetts for being "misleading."

Connecticut’s two casinos are taking paying customers for the first time in two months.

Tribal leadership shuttered the casinos March 18 for the first time in their history over fears of the spread of COVID-19.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs told the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Friday that the tribe’s reservation will be “disestablished” and its land taken out of trust, per an order from Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell announced in a post on the tribe’s website.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos have closed their doors amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut Public Radio spoke with Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Talks between the governor’s office and the state’s two federally recognized tribes over the rights to sports betting are at an impasse.

Sweeping Gambling Bill Is Meant To Push Lamont

Jan 31, 2020

Top leaders of the Senate Democratic majority pressured Gov. Ned Lamont on gambling expansion Wednesday by endorsing legislation that would give the state’s two federally recognized tribes exclusive rights to take bets on sports, open a casino in Bridgeport and offer a broad array of virtual casino games on smart phones and computers.

Entering Bridgeport off of Connecticut Route 8.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, may finally host a casino — but it might be the state’s two tribal nations, and not MGM, that back the project.

National legislation aimed at preserving the federal trust status of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s land is expected to go to a vote before the full House this week.

It’s a vote that was supposed to happen last week, before a tweet by President Donald Trump against the bill caused its sponsors to pull it from the House floor.

A mural at Mohawk Trail School.
Contributed Photo / The Greenfield Recorder / recorder.com

The Mohawk Trail regional school committee in western Massachusetts is the latest to take on the controversial issue of Native American imagery at its meeting on May 9.

State lawmakers are taking up several gambling related bills, including ones that would expand sports betting and another on a proposed East Windsor casino.

Pages