Annual Events Presented by the Nolumbeka Project
Peoples Harvest (2005-2006) & the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, 2014 to Present; Annual Day of Remembrance: Commemoration of the May 16, 1676 Great Falls Massacre; November, Beaver Moon Gathering; February, Full Snow Moon Gathering
The People’s Harvest was initially envisioned by Nolumbeka Project President Joe Graveline and Native American flutemaker and musician Barry Higgins, under the auspices of the Friends of Wissatinnewag. It took place at Scheutzen Verein in Gill, MA in the fall of 2005 and 2006. A celebration of the Native American/American Indian culture that once flourished on the banks of the Connecticut River and its tributaries, the Peoples Harvest in 2005 marked the first time in 328 years that the members of different tribes gathered in peace on a portion of what was once a sacred peace village.
In 2013, the festival was reborn under a new organization, the Nolumbeka Project, and a new name, the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival. This event happens on the first Saturday in August at Unity Park in Turners Falls, another historically significant site and where the May 19, 2004 Reconciliation Ceremony took place. It was here, for centuries before the land was taken by European colonists, that the People of Pocumtuc, Mohawk, Nipmuc, Narragansett and and other tribes of the Northeast gathered in mid-September each year. Setting aside their tribal rivalries and issues, they fished and harvested and shared in a celebration of the bountiful blessings of Mother Earth. “Known as a place of peace and harmony and welcome” according to Narragansett Senior Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris, this village is believed to have been one of the oldest–if not the oldest–continuously occupied site in New England.