A phone seminar with Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Tribe. Sponsored by Mass Forest Rescue. Doug is one of the most active Native educators and activists in New England, advocating tirelessly for these oft-threatened traditional cultural properties. The reality is that there is still great disrespect, ignorance, and arrogance surrounding these sacred features within the landscape.
Sunday, March 26, 7 pm. Registration deadline: 3 p.m. March 26.
Uytpama Natitayt — Kennewick Man, or the Ancient One, an ancestor of the First People of the Columbia Plateau — is finally home.
More than 200 of his relatives came together at an undisclosed location on the Columbia Plateau early February 18 to lay him to rest. They came from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, from the Nez Perce Tribe, from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and the Wanapum Tribe and the Yakama Nation.
Religious leaders from each of the Native Nations jointly conducted a ceremony. And then Kennewick Man’s remains were returned to the earth, just as loved ones first laid him to rest some 9,000 years ago. The ceremony was private.
See the full article in Indian Country Today.
This is Part 2 of a two-part story, within the podcast series from Brattleboro Historical Society, produced by Joe Rivers and his BAMS history students. You can check out Part 1 here. It gives additional background to the subsuming of critical areas in Sokwakik, and particularly the flooding of the Retreat Meadows, by the completion of the Vernon, Vermont hydroelectric dam in 1909. Prior to this date, the now-flooded meadows – known as mskodak in Aln8baiwi – were prime farmland for the Sokwakiak who dwelt here, and subsequently the European settlers that arrived in the mid-1700’s. There are multiple newspaper reports of native burials being exhumed within this alluvial bowl, just west of the mouth of the Wantastekw (I will be documenting them here over time). Sokoki Abenaki heritage and interests were ignored and ravaged, a situation which remains ongoing and challenging.
A lawsuit aimed at temporarily preventing a large-scale solar project from being constructed on land that some suspect is a Native American burial ground is not yet settled.
A status conference on the federal civil rights lawsuit, filed by three Shutesbury and two New Salem residents against the developers and the Planning Board that approved the project, is set for Friday at 10:30 a.m. The conference before Judge Mark G. Mastroianni will be held at the U.S. District Court in Springfield.
The aim of the lawsuit is to make sure the 6-megawatt project on the 30-acre Wheelock Tract off Pratt Corner Road, owned by W.D. Cowls Inc., doesn’t go forward until tribal historic preservation officers and others can get onto the property and determine if it is a burial ground or sacred site.
Read the full report in the Greenfield Recorder.
Tensions flared again Tuesday as the Planning Board approved a special permit for a 30-acre solar installation. After nearly a year of debate, the permit is a compromise between the developer and residents concerned about a possible Native American burial ground.
Full story in The Greenfield Recorder.
Archaeologists have returned to a known burial site to make a second excavation, on the grounds of Seabrook Station on New Hampshire’s coastline. A previous dig there in the 1970’s, as the nuclear power plant was being built, uncovered and removed seven burials; it took over 25 years for those remains to be repatriated. Astoundingly, the current investigation involved no consultation with the indigenous Abenaki people, descendants of the people who lived and died in this northern New England shore. Action to address this negligence and address the lack, and disregard, of official policy is now being taken.