07/10/24

Fundraiser for Senator Osten *Canceled*

Due to inclement weather, unfortunately our scheduled Fundraiser on the Reservation from 5 -7 p.m. for Senator Catherine Osten has been canceled. Please be on the look out for future fundraisers and events.

09/25/23

Connecticut Sun Puts on Inaugural Indigenous Peoples’ Night

In August, The Sun celebrated its place as the only professional sports team owned by a Native American tribe by showcasing many cultural elements of the Mohegan Tribe and other Tribal Nations in the region. The night also served as the organization’s way of highlighting the Mohegan Tribe’s Wigwam (Green Corn) Festival—a celebration of thanks and a symbol of Tribal survival honoring past and present Tribal members.

The Connecticut Sun honored members of the following Tribal Nations: The Mohegan Tribe, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Eastern Pequots, Golden Hill Paugussett, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, and Narragansett Tribe.

The celebration and opportunities for learning about Tribal culture continued throughout the game, with an interview with Kristin Emilyta discussing how she came up with the Item of the Game design; an interview with Beth Regan and Pat LaPierre, members of the Mohegan Council of Elders; a primetime performance by the Shantok Nation comprised of Mohegan Tribal Youth; an honorary tip being thrown by Tribal Elder Phil Russell; a halftime “Horse Hill” performance; and a sacred postgame drum circle titled “Horse Hill with Intertribal Dances.”

For the full article please click here – we hope you are able to attend next years very important Indigenous Peoples Night to celebrate our local Tribal Nations, their history, and their culture with us!

06/12/23

Connecticut Tribes Co-create State Social Studies Curriculum

Centering “our culture and our ways”

We are celebrating the huge movement in the state of Connecticut with our Connecticut tribes co-creating the new social studies curriculum.

The State Department of Education and five of us Connecticut tribal nations have been working together to meet a legislative mandate calling for Native American curriculum for K-12 social studies classes. Resources with localized information from the tribal nations – Eastern Pequot, Mashantucket Pequot, Mohegan, Schaghticoke and Golden Hill Paugussett – are expected to be available in January 2024.

This interview below, is a preview of this collaboration with educators from the Mohegan Tribal Nation and our Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, as well as State Department of Education social studies advisor Steve Armstrong.

Our STN traditional Native American storyteller, Darlene Kascak and education coordinator for the Institute of American Indian Studies explains the importance of centering, and distinguishing, each tribe’s story and voice.

This is a proud moment in our tribal history to have our voices seen, heard, and shared with the world.

Guests in the interview:

  • Darlene Kascak: Education Coordinator, Institute of American Indian Studies; Traditional Native American Storyteller, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation
  • Sam Cholewa Tondreau: Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Mohegan Tribal Nation
  • Steve Armstrong: Social Studies Consultant, Connecticut State Department of Education
07/23/22

News From Brown: Summer Institute Empowers High Schoolers To Confront Historical, Contemporary Injustices.

As one of the only Native students in her school, Cate McDonough, a rising junior from Cranston, R.I., and a member of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, said she enrolled in the summer institute to build the knowledge needed to challenge traditional historical narratives.

“By learning and being here, I hope to speak up more and not feel like I’m a bother or that my existence is difficult or an extra step for people,” she said. “Black and Indigenous histories should be a bigger part of our curriculum, and I hope to have the strength and knowledge to stand up and advocate for it.”

 

Continue Reading Here: https://www.brown.edu/news/2022-07-22/reimagining-histories-summer-institute

06/3/22

The Day: Chief Hockeo Roy Sebastian, Longtime leader of Eastern Pequot Tribe, dies  

North Stonington — Members of the Eastern Pequot Tribe will keep a ceremonial fire burning on the tribe’s reservation land until sunset Friday to honor the memory of Chief Hockeo, Roy Sebastian, lifetime sachem and longtime spiritual leader, who died Tuesday morning at age 95.

According to tribal tradition, the ceremonial fire will remain burning for three days to honor the chief, along with drumming and other ceremonial traditions. The fire will be extinguished after the drumming ends and sunset begins Friday, Tribal Chairman Mitchel Ray said Thursday.

“He was one of the kindest people I have met, from his voice and the things he would say,” Ray, who was elected tribal chairman in September, said Thursday. “He was kind and loved by us all.”

Current Tribal Vice Chairwoman Brenda Geer, a 30-year Tribal Council member, recalled that Sebastian “was soft-spoken.”

“But when he spoke,” she said, “you listened.”

Sebastian dedicated his life fighting for “tribal rights, lands and people,” his daughter, Katherine Sebastian Dring, past Tribal Council chairwoman, wrote in a biography published in the tribe’s newsletter May 15.

He worked tirelessly with tribal leaders, historians and supporters to put together what tribal leaders said they were told at the time was the best application to gain federal government recognition, with more than 70,000 documents submitted. The battle first was won, with recognition approved in 2002, and then lost when the decision was reversed in 2005 after objections were raised by dozens of Connecticut towns and the state.

Geer called the reversed decision by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs “absolutely devastating for everyone.” But she said Sebastian never lost hope and worked to keep tribal culture alive.

“He said ‘stay connected to the land. Preserve the land,’” Geer recalled. “We have one of the oldest reservations in the state.”

Sebastian served as tribal chairman of the state-recognized tribe from 1976 to 1997. At the tribe’s annual meeting in 1997, he was declared sachem for life, Dring wrote in the biography. Twice, the Mashantucket-Pequot Tribal Nation honored Sebastian, in 1994 at that tribe’s Schemitzun festival for his dedication to maintaining the Eastern Pequot Tribe’s sovereignty, and in 1996 with the presentation of an eagle feather headdress.

“He often led ceremonial and burial services on their historic reservation (established in 1683) and at other community and sacred places,” Dring wrote.

Sebastian especially encouraged tribal families to teach traditions, ceremonies and tribal dances to the children to ensure they would live on in future generations, Geer said.

During his leadership tenure, Dring wrote, her father worked with her, the Tribal Council and members to petition successfully for federal grants for tribal services.

“He is remembered by all who have known him as a well-respected elder who constantly fought for his tribe, land and people,” Dring wrote, “praying: ‘Tabuttantam Manitoo, Sunnamatta Wetomp? Cowammaunuck.’ (Thank you Creator. Is it not so, dear friend? We loved thee.”

Sebastian was born July 25, 1926, in Old Mystic, one of seven children of parents Roy Emanuel Sebastian and Julia Sebastian. He married Virginia Rose Basket and they had three children: Katherine, Patricia and Gwendolyn. He has six grandchildren.

His name, Hockeo, means “the body” in Algonquian language, Dring wrote in his biography. The name was passed down from his great grandfather to his grandfather, to his father and then to him.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 12, on Eastern Pequot Reservation, Wright Road, North Stonington.

c.bessette@theday.com

 

 

04/10/22

HARTFORD COURANT: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Supports Connecticut City’s Red Raiders’ Nickname

By PAT EATON-ROBB AP Sports Writer -Mar 31, 2022 at 7:10 pm

A small American Indian tribe is supporting Derby’s attempt to retain funding put in jeopardy by its continued use of a Native American mascot and imagery for its schools’ athletic teams.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, which has just over 100 members in Western Connecticut, passed a resolution this month supporting the city of Derby’s use of the nickname “Red Raiders” and logos that include an arrowhead and the profile of the head of an American Indian.

The tribe says it supports the use of those images “as a public means of sustaining Native American culture and history of Connecticut’s first citizens,” according to the March 15 resolution from the tribal council.

Derby Board of Education Chair Jim Gildea said city officials sat down with tribal leaders, including Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky, to discuss the issue. He said the city explained the images are meant to honor the area’s Native American heritage. He also said the term “Red Raiders” has nothing to do with skin color.

“It’s similar to the Duke Blue Devils, the Tulane Green Wave,” he said. “Through the years, people may have lost sight of that, but Derby High School’s colors are red and white.”

The state last year enacted a law that requires municipalities whose athletic teams use Native American names or mascots to receive written support from a state or federally recognized tribe in Connecticut or risk losing state grants derived from revenue at the state’s two tribal casinos, The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Most of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns receive a grant from the Mashantucket Pequot/Mohegan Fund, with extra money earmarked for communities located near the gaming centers. The amounts are based on a formula that involves a number of factors, including the value of untaxable property within the community. Payments are made three times a year and can total as much as $5 million or more for the larger cities.

Derby is slated to receive $207,304 for the 2023 fiscal year, according to the state.

The Schaghticokes do not contribute to the fund, but Gildea said that should not matter.

“We should not cherry pick which Native American, state-recognized tribe we decide to give the ability to grant waivers to,” he said. “They are all honorable, decent tribes who are state recognized and that should be the only litmus test.”

Several Connecticut municipalities, including West Hartford and Montville have voted to end the use of Native American mascots. Glastonbury recently rejected HAR an attempt to restore the nickname “Tomahawks” to its schools.

The National Congress of American Indians declined to comment specifically on the Schaghticoke’s decision, but said it supports the retirement of Native “themed” mascots at all levels absent a formal agreement with a sovereign tribal nation.

“NCAI shares the unified voice of hundreds of Tribal Nations, and that voice has been consistent and clear for decades: stereotypical and dehumanizing sports mascots, monikers and symbols cause well-documented harms to Native people, particularly Native youth, and they have no place in American society,” the organization said in a statement.

Gildea said there was no quid pro quo involved in the tribe’s support of Derby’s application to the state. But he said the school district has agreed to work with the tribe, which is based in Kent but has offices in Derby, on educational programs centered around Native American history in the area.

Chief Velky and officials with the governor’s office and the state Office of Policy and Management tribe did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment.

01/27/21

News Times: Students Learn Centuries-Old Artform at Washington Nonprofit

Newtown resident Darlene Kascak, a member of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, said beading is “a tedious process, going individually through each one of those beads twice,” Kascak said. “You are doing it once when you’re threading it and then you’re doing it again to secure it.”

 

 

Bookmarks made by Susan Schers

Bookmarks made by Susan Schers

American Indian jewelry

Continue Reading Here: https://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Students-learn-centuries-old-artform-at-15895489.php?src=nthplocal

09/28/20

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Petition With Over 1,000 Signatures Calls On Penn To Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day

 

A petition calling on Penn to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a holiday has garnered over 1,000 signatures from students, faculty, and staff.

Natives at Penn, a student organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Native culture and history on campus, created the petition on Sept. 1 in hopes that adding the holiday to Penn’s list of secular and religious holidays observed during the academic calendar will promote visibility of Indigenous students on campus. The list features holidays associated with the cancellation of class and those that are not and simply recognized by the University.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day takes place on Oct. 12 to honor Native American peoples’ resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers.”The Native community was the first community here and remains here today,” the petition reads. “It is necessary to acknowledge this history and create change in order to honor and respect Native peoples both past and present.”

The 2020-21 Secular & Religious Holidays list posted on The Office of Chaplain & The Spiritual and Religious Life Center website currently includes religious holidays such as Yom Kippur and Good Friday as well as secular holidays such as Memorial Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As a footnote, the University acknowledges that there are other holidays of importance that do not appear on the list.

Wharton sophomore and Natives at Penn member Lauren McDonald said the rise in racial justice movements, such as the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, inspired her to start the petition. In addition to increasing awareness of the holiday, the petition aims to honor Lenape people, the tribe whose land Penn resides on, she said.

While Penn gives land acknowledgements — formal statements that recognize the Lenape tribe’s right to the land — at events such as Commencement and Convocation, Natives at Penn is also calling upon the University to expand its support for Indigenous students by increasing funding for Indigenous student programming and providing a space for them in ARCH as a cultural center.

“You shouldn’t be giving land acknowledgements if that’s all that you’re doing,” College senior and Natives at Penn Undergraduate Chair Connor Beard said. “You need to also be actively looking for other ways to help the Indigenous and Native communities wherever you’re located.

”McDonald said Natives at Penn hopes to occupy a physical space on campus and collaborate with La Casa Latina, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center, and Pan-Asian American Community House in the future to increase awareness of the Indigenous culture and support students of color on campus.

“Native people generally have such a strong attachment to physical locations,” Beard said. “[Having a space on campus] would help us to continue to build our community.”

Beard said that many Indigenous students do not feel visible on campus due to the lack of awareness of Indigenous culture and history, and hopes the petition will lead to increased University support for Indigenous students.

“I’ve met plenty of people at Penn who have never even heard of the concept of Native Americans,” Beard said, adding that many students have a misconception that Indigenous people only live on reservations.

Second-year Penn Law student and Natives at Penn Graduate Chair Brooke Parmalee believes that one of the main reasons why Indigenous students do not feel visible on campus is that they are not “big in numbers,” noting that she is one of only three Indigenous students at Penn Law.

Mamta Accapadi, the new Vice Provost for University Life as of Aug. 17, reached out to Natives at Penn a couple weeks ago to express her support for the group’s mission and apologize for the lack of support currently given to Indigenous students by the University, Parmalee said.

Parmalee added that Natives at Penn hopes Accapadi will advocate for the group when it sends the petition to President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett. McDonald said the group will send the petition to the administrators after it gathers 1,500 signatures.

McDonald said she is grateful for the support the petition has received from a number of student organizations such as Penn Community for Justice, as well as from faculty and staff of the School of Veterinary Medicine and the LGBT Center.

College senior and PCJ member Kara Cloud said PCJ endorsed the petition because it aligns with the organization’s mission of recognizing Penn’s racist history and how it affects students on campus.

“As an institution that has benefited off the backs of Indigenous people and literally occupies their land illegally, the least we can do is offer a day of national recognition that will spur action and conversation,” Cloud said.

08/23/19

Chief Richard Velky: Same old tribes play Bridgeport and state the same old tune

“In 2004, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, after decades of hard work, gained federal recognition. We were the third tribe in the state to do so, along with the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes. This recognition would have given the Schaghticoke the same rights as the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes, including gaming rights and the same right to build a casino…….”

Continue Reading Here: https://www.ctinsider.com/opinion/ctpost/article/Chief-Richard-Velky-Same-old-tribes-play-14371223.php?sid=5cf06bdfcdb7ec24c9782e8c&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ctpost_ctinsider#photo-18144981