2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing in Wampanoag territory in 1620. We—and white people in particular—have yet to reckon with the centuries of violence and conflicts over land, resources, and values that began with the arrival of Europeans. The way this history is most often told—by settlers’ descendants—excludes the voices of Indigenous peoples, downplays the systematic violence and attempted erasure that Indigenous communities have survived, and raises many questions about who gets to shape our understanding of history and why. The continued erasure of Indigenous stories and perspectives, in history and the present time, calls into question whether colonialism is really “history” at all—or a system and set of policies that still actively shape communities in this region today.
As an organization based in the Kwinitekw/Connecticut River Valley, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding is excited to announce a local dialogue and event series that will explore many of those questions—“Erasure and Restoration: An Exploration of Past and Present in the Kwinitekw River Valley’s Indigenous Communities.” Through events facilitated by Indigenous people and non-Indigenous allies, the series will consider who the narrators of Indigenous history are, make space for a strengths-based retelling, and analyze the meaning and matter of relationship-building, reconciliation, land caretaking, memory, and inclusive curricula that explore Indigenous histories, cultures, and lived experiences.
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Additional funding for this event series is provided by the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation. All of our work is made possible by Karuna Center’s donor community. Thank you.
Upcoming Events in this Series
WE ARE THE STORY, WE ARE THE LAND
With Larry Spotted Crow Mann
September 22, 2020
Register to participate via zoom (This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.)
Join Larry Spotted Crow Mann for an engaging talk that will focus on the spiritual, cultural and social significance of ‘Place and the Art of Story’ on the Indigenous peoples of New England. This event will highlight how a colonial narrative has harmfully impacted both Native people and non-Native people through a conversation that centers on the personal journey of the survival and perseverance of Nipmuc People and their continued efforts to share their story, while also shaping new ones for the coming generations.
The event will close with a discussion on the many varied walks of life that all humans come from and how those ‘different stories’ have been used to incite fear throughout history. In Larry’s words, “We must, as human beings, find ourselves in each other’s story and reconcile that bond with unity, love and respect.”
Past Events in this Series
THE CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY AS NATIVE SPACE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19
Held online via Zoom (link provided after registration)
With Dr. Lisa Brooks, Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College, and author of The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast and Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War; Dr. Margaret M. Bruchac, performer, ethnographer, historian, and museum consultant; and Cheryl Savageau, poet, memoirist, storyteller, educator, and the author of Out of the Crazywoods.
Kwinitekw, or the Connecticut River, has long been an Indigenous “super highway” and a crossroads of nations. With this Zoom conversation, we invite you to interact with the Connecticut River Valley as dynamic Native space through a conversation with Abenaki writers Cheryl Savageau, Marge Bruchac, and Lisa Brooks. Learn about deep time stories, Indigenous history, movements and migrations, and continuing knowledge exchange. This is a dynamic place from which we are all constantly learning.
Readers may want to explore Lisa Brooks’s “Our Beloved Kin” website, which functions as a reader’s companion to her book Our Beloved Kin, especially the pages on the Connecticut River Valley “path.” This path features a story, “Wôbanakiak: Amiskwôlowôkoiak – the People of the Beaver-tail Hill,” told by Marge Bruchac and a poem, “At Sugarloaf,” by Cheryl Savageau, with which our conversation will begin. Lisa Brooks will host the conversation, which will include a Q&A session, building a space of exchange.
Upon registration, participants will be asked to do a bit of “homework,” reviewing various resources from Dr. Brooks, Dr. Savageau, and Dr. Bruchac to prepare for an interactive and engaging event.