Indigenous Voices

FROM the Connecticut River Valley OF MASSACHUSETTS

A 10-Part Series of Short Videos
About Native Life Past and Present

Produced by the Nolumbeka Project

in collaboration with Turning Tide Films

Directed by Robbie Leppzer

Produced by Jennifer Lee (Northern Narragansett)


The Nolumbeka Project provides an invaluable resource with this effort. The region at large is long overdue to realize this information. There is so much to learn about what has been missing from U.S. history, and why we have been misinformed for so long.

—Ron Welburn (Accomac Cherokee/Lenape Descendant),

Emeritus Professor, UMass Amherst

About the Filmmakers


Running Time: 4:45

In this Introduction to our multi-part video series, INDIGENOUS VOICES, narrator David Brule (Nehantic), presents a brief overview of the Indigenous peoples who have lived in and traveled through the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts for thousands of years.

“Historical Perspectives From The Wigwam”
Jennifer Lee – Northern Narragansett Educator and Bark Basket Maker

Running Time: 17:54

A brief historical overview about Indigenous life before the European settlers arrived, and a comparison of differing world views between the Indigenous and European cultures, visually illustrated with historical paintings and drawings.


Running Time: 11:29

Native and non-native people gather together to honor and remember those who died in the 1676 massacre at Peskeompskut, now known as Turners Falls.

Liz ColdWind Santana Kiser – Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck
Elder and Educator

Running Time: 7:23

A Nipmuck Elder talks about her family, culture, battles against racism, and the importance of everyone learning Indigenous history.

Tom Porter – Mohawk Bear Clan Spiritual Elder

Running Time: 7:03

Hear an Indigenous spiritual Elder’s viewpoint about how to overcome despair and hopelessness in our fight for planetary survival in the face of climate change.

Wes Pecor – Massachusett Tribal Descendant Wood Carver

Running Time: 7:12

Expressions of imagination, culture and nature in the hand-carving of wood from the heart.

Monica Alexander – Mi’kmaq Descendant Multimedia Artisan

Running Time: 10:26

Porcupine quillwork on birch bark — historic and contemporary interpretations of this Northeastern Indigenous art form.

Andre Strongbearheart Gaines Jr. – Nipmuc Cultural Steward

Running Time: 5:36

A Nipmuc cultural steward teaches the ancient art of tanning hides to youth.

Kingfisher Singers and Dancers – Wampanoag-Narragansett Cultural Educators

Running Time: 9:40

A Native family teaches culture and tradition through songs.


Running Time: 4:34

Our full credits for our INDIGENOUS VOICES multi-part series, set to Keith Secola’s (Anishinaabe) evocative, electric Native-fusion song, “4 R Ancestors”, over stunningly beautiful aerial footage of the Connecticut River.


This program is supported in part by grants from the Local Cultural Councils of 50 towns in western Massachusetts, which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. Participating towns include Agawam, Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Brimfield, Buckland, Charlemont-Hawley, Chester, Chesterfield, Chicopee, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Goshen, Greenfield, Hampden, Hatfield, Heath, Holland, Holyoke, Leyden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Palmer, Plainfield, Rowe, Russell, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southwick, Springfield, Sunderland, Tolland,
West Springfield, Warwick, Wendell, Westfield, Westhampton, Whately,
Williamsburg, and Worthington.

Additional Funding Support Provided By:
• Irene and George Davis Foundation
• Mass Humanities
• River Valley Co-op

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