Mission & Vision Statement
The Nolumbeka Project envisions a Connecticut River Valley where the histories, cultures, and persistence of Northeastern Indigenous Peoples are recognized and celebrated, and where all beings coexist in balance and reciprocity.
We host Indigenous presenters sharing their cultures and histories at annual gatherings, as well as at educational programs for the public and in schools.
We work to protect and preserve the land, especially the ancient multi-tribal villages of which Wissatinnewag is an integral part. We strive to serve as a bridge between cultures and between past and future generations. We work to fulfill our mission and vision as nolumbeka (Abenaki), “the calm waters between the rapids.”
Land Acknowledgement and Acknowledging the Land
We must acknowledge that we are standing on, and benefiting from land that has been seized, expropriated, and taken from Indigenous people, often through deceit, falsified deeds, and violence. For thousands of years this has been Pocumtuck land. This is still the homelands of the Pocumtuck, they are still here, their voices are still here in the air we breathe. These are still the homelands of the Pocumtuck, Norwottock, Woronoco, Agawam, Nipmuck, Abenaki. These Native peoples and their descendants are still living among us. They have not gone. Every time we gather here we must acknowledge and respect that fact.
But any land acknowledgement should also contain an acknowledgement of the land.
We have been taught by Indigenous elders that to draw our minds together at the beginning of any gathering we should remember to be grateful and thankful for all that we have been given:
We give thanks to the sun every morning
We give thanks to the four directions
To all living creatures, they are our kinfolk and teachers
To the woodlands and rivers that sustain us:
the Pocomegon (Green River),
the Pocumpetuk (Deerfield River)
the Roanasiatok( Fall River)
the Paguag( Millers River)
the mighty, long river Quonektakut
We give thanks to the hills and plains who are a part of us as we are of them
To the last 7 generations and the next 7 generations
To our ancestors who have guided us and who are here with us now
We do not have to ask for anything. All this has been given to us.
Acknowledgement and expressing our thankfulness are the first steps in a long process of self-education. We must listen to Native voices who can remind us and teach us how to live in balance and reciprocity. We are all in this together. What will we do with what we have been given?