A Word from the Justice Task Force
The Justice Task Force (JTF) has been meeting monthly, discovering and discussing the history of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans, known as The Muh-he-con-ne-ok, or “The People of the Waters that Are Never Still”.
“The People of the Waters that Are Never Still have a rich and illustrious history which has been retained through oral tradition and the written word. Our many moves from the East to Wisconsin left Many Trails to retrace in search of our history. Many Trails [see left] is an original design created and designed by Edwin Martin, a Mohican Indian, symbolizing endurance, strength and hope. From a long suffering proud and determined people.”
Through meetings with Bonney Hartley, Tribal Historic Preservation Manager for the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, local historian Rick Wilcox and reading lots of documents, we are learning more about the deep connection of the people who once lived on the shores of the Housatonic River to the early church that is now the First Congregational Church Stockbridge.
“In 1738, the Mohicans gave John Sergeant permission to start a mission in the village. Eventually, the European inhabitants gave this place the name “Stockbridge,” after a village in England. It was located on the Housatonic River near a great meadow bounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. ln this mission village, a church and school were built. Other people who wished to hear the missionaries’ teachings also came to live in the village. Some of these were the Wappingers, the Niantics, Brothertons, Tunxis, Pequot, Mohawk, Narragansetts and Oneidas. As some of these tribes merged with the Mohicans, the tribal group came to be known as the Stockbridge Indians.
As our group works together to develop a Land Acknowledgement, we are also exploring ways to engage with the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans to collaborate on culturally significant issues. One thing we’ve learned is that taking meaningful actions will be an important piece of a Land Acknowledgement. A series of informational sessions are being planned for the spring.
Note: Sections in italics are from www.mohican.com