First Nations Day

We humbly and gratefully acknowledge that our school is learning and gathering in the unceded homelands of the Muhheconeew (Moh-He-Con-Nuck, or Mohican) Nation, who are the indigenous people of this land. Despite the tremendous hardship of being forced from their ancestral home, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community

We also honor the elders and land keepers, past and present, of First Nations in the four directions, including Schaghticoke and Lenape to the south, Nipmuc, Wampanoag and Massachuset to the east, Abenaki and Algonquin to the north, and Haudenosaunee to the west.

Etow oh Koam, Mohican chief, 1710, from a BWS eighth grader’s main lesson book.

There are many celebrations and opportunities in the Berkshires this month to learn more about the First Nations of this sacred land.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Great Barrington

Drumming, traditional Native American songs, speeches, and a procession culminating in a ceremonial blessing of the Housatonic River will mark the local observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Great Barrington on Monday, October 11. For details and to register, visit

First Nations Day at BWS

We’ll light the fires for First Nations Day, Tuesday, October 12, when Abenaki children’s book author, editor and storyteller Joseph Bruchac visits our school to share Northeastern indigenous nations’ stories, songs and drumming. You can find the extensive list of Dr. Bruchac’s books and stories here, and copies of many of them in the Mason and Ramsdell libraries, as well as at Bookloft and other local bookstores.

Abenaki storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac

“We once called this land home, and while forced removal may have physically moved us, our hearts remain.”

-from the Berkshire Museum Exhibit Muh-he-con-ne-ok: People of the waters that are never still

Berkshire Museum

Muh-he-con-ne-ok: The People of the Waters That Are Never Still showcases the story of the Stockbridge-Munsee Communities past, present, and future.

Stockbridge Mission House and Walking Tour

Stockbridge Mission House now hosts a Stockbridge-Munsee Community-curated Mohican Exhibit.

And stroll through Mohican History with this Walking Tour of Main Street, Stockbridge, MA.

Stockbridge-Munsee Archeological Dig

The Mohican Tribal Historic Preservation Office conducted archaeological digs at “Indiantown”—now known as Stockbridge—this summer, to try and locate the 1739 meetinghouse site and the site of the ox roast that George Washington ordered there in honor of Mohican soldiers, in gratitude for their support, at the end of the Revolutionary War. 

Sheffield Historical Society – “The Mohican Journey: Homelands, History, and Hope”

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans has worked for decades in research, preservation, education, and governance to promote equality and programs that strengthen their culture and community heritage. Making connections to their ancestral homelands continues to be of sacred value.  This exhibit combines a variety of art forms, artifacts, audio and video elements, including content from Dorothy David’s  “A Brief History of the Mohican Nation” as well as many personal narratives.  Outdoor exhibit on view through Oct 11, weekends 11a-4p and Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday, Oct 11.

First Nations Books

Elder-approved books from the Stockbridge-Munsee Arvid E. Miller Library:

Forge Foundation

The Forge Foundation, located in the Mohican homeland near Hudson, NY, has launched an indigenous fellowship program to support the work of indigenous artists and activists.

Papscanee Island in the Muhheakantuck (Hudson) River

Read the amazing “land-back” account of how this island in the Hudson River – with a preserve that remains untouched since 1609 – has been returned to its original owners, the Mohican Nation, and you can visit it.

The aim [of this year’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day events in Great Barrington] is to “acknowledge and heal the wounds of our past, honor the Native American ethic of respect and care for the natural world, and integrate indigenous values into our response to climate change.”

– Alliance for a Viable Future

Lear More from the website


-We are Mohican Nation Presentation for Stockbridge Munsee Day  

-PBS: Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican History  

-Words of our Ancestors

-Footsteps of our Ancestors – Virtual Walking Tour of Stockbridge

 -Finding A Place Again: Honoring the Mohican Story of Stockbridge with Bonney Hartley 

-CTSB: 2018 Mohican History seminar & tribal elder Judy Putnam Hartley talk

-History Presentation for NY Fish and Wildlife service in 2015

-Williamstown – Living on Mohican Homelands 

“Long Journey Home” Story Map on Stockbridge-Munsee effort to reclaim Papscanee Island

-Homelands History Series from the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library Museum


-Decolonizing Language: In conversation with Heather Bruegl and Dr. Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti 

-Perspectives in Archeological Collaboration

-The Power of Native Women with Heather Bruegl

Indigenous Histories:

-Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

-Jean Maria O’Brien: Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians out of Existence in New England

-David Treuer: The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee