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Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England

Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England

by Siobhan Senier (Editor)


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Dawnland Voices calls attention to the little-known but extraordinarily rich literary traditions of New England's Native Americans. This pathbreaking anthology includes both classic and contemporary literary works from ten New England indigenous nations: the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Schaghticoke, and Wampanoag.

Through literary collaboration and recovery, Siobhan Senier and Native tribal historians and scholars have crafted a unique volume covering a variety of genres and historical periods. From the earliest petroglyphs and petitions to contemporary stories and hip-hop poetry, this volume highlights the diversity and strength of New England Native literary traditions. Dawnland Voices introduces readers to the compelling and unique literary heritage in New England, banishing the misconception that "real" Indians and their traditions vanished from that region centuries ago.

Siobhan Senier is an associate professor of English and the James H. and Claire Short Hayes Professor in the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance: Helen Hunt Jackson, Sarah Winnemucca, and Victoria Howard and editor of the website Writing of Indigenous New England.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803246867
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 09/01/2014
Pages: 716
Sales rank: 513,838
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Siobhan Senier is an associate professor of English and the James H. and Claire Short Hayes Professor in the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance: Helen Hunt Jackson, Sarah Winnemucca, and Victoria Howard and editor of the website Writing of Indigenous New England.


Read an Excerpt

Dawnland Voices

An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England

By Siobhan Senier


Copyright © 2014 Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8032-5680-4




Jaime Battiste

The Mi'kmaq have occupied the eastern coast and forests of Canada and the New England area, which collectively is called Mi'kma'ki, for as long as anyone can remember. The Mi'kmaq continue to transmit their knowledge, beliefs, customs, and practices through performances and oral traditions, based on storytelling, songs, ceremonies, symbols, and literacies, including wampum to record important teachings. Representing some of these legacies, I have sought to balance the writings in this section across the Mi'kmaw districts from New England, New Brunswick, the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. As may be seen on a map, this territory is shaped like a crescent moon and symbolized as such on the Mi'kmaw flag.

Since at least the sixteenth century, Mi'kmaw people have been in contact with Europeans and have conducted diplomatic relations through treaties, compacts, agreements, and concordats with European sovereigns and other national powers. Much has been written and documented about Mi'kmaq from the viewpoint of Eurocentric scholars, but many of these sources are based on outsiders' perceptions about Mi'kmaq. Over the past generation, guided by Mi'kmaw scholars, Elders, students, and leaders, a Mi'kmaw renaissance has emerged, with many Mi'kmaw authors beginning to build not only on written history but also on Mi'kmaw knowledge and on traditions within Mi'kma'ki. In particular, the late Mi'kmaw author Rita Joe reminds us that it is important for Mi'kmaq to create writing, instead of just being written about.

This collection of essays, stories, poetry, and fiction was gathered with an aim of learning from the Mi'kmaw people through their words, experiences, imagination, creativity, and perspectives. Their writings demonstrate Mi'kmaw people's resilience under the suffering and humiliation of colonization as well as showcase Mi'kmaw talents. This work continues to show readers that Mi'kmaw knowledge and culture are current, dynamic, and gathering strength as contributions by academics, storytellers, and students build on Mi'kmaw teachings, voices, and visions.

Recognizing that "history" is a contested Eurocentric discipline, Mi'kmaq have understood their traditions in a different way, and this is a key theme within this set of readings. Mi'kmaw poets and their creative storytelling have also been instrumental in taking a moment in time and capturing it with a few poignant words. The late Rita Joe has led the way, inspiring a new generation of Mi'kmaw poets who continue to tell a new story for Mi'kmaq through poetry and creative writing. This collection can give only a glimpse of the poetry and other genres that circulate among Mi'kmaq.

Mi'kmaw academics have analyzed the colonial experience of the Mi'kmaq in five periods. The first is precontact, which marks an indeterminate time before the late sixteenth century, which in turn marks the beginning of the second period, the contact period. The third period is the treaty diplomacy era (1630–1796), in which Mi'kmaq diplomats advocated for and negotiated treaties with European settlers and royalty. The treaty denial era (1800–1982) is the fourth period, marking a dark time in our experience, when Mi'kmaw people were denied the rights that they had negotiated and when they often were the target of assimilation policies aimed at destroying the Mi'kmaq culture, language, knowledge, and ways of life. The fifth period is the treaty recognition era (1982 to present day).

During the first period Mi'kmaw people had their own governance structure, with an economy based on trade within our nations and an education based on survival and cooperation. Within Mi'kmaw teachings of this period are many stories that are viewed as fundamental to Mi'kmaq life. Undoubtedly, one of the most famous is the Mi'kmaw creation story, which contains many teachings about our holistic relationships with our families and our ecosystem. We have chosen a shorter version, translated and transmitted through generations and recorded by Keptin Stephen Augustine, a member of the Mi'kmaw Grand Council, which is the traditional governance structure of the Mi'kmaw people and continues to exist today despite years of oppression and discrimination.

Author Daniel Paul has been a passionate activist and advocate for justice for the Mi'kmaq to correct the history of oppression, assimilation, and cultural genocide. His book We Were Not the Savages has been a compelling resource for many Mi'kmaq and non-Mi'kmaq alike, revealing the dark legacy of colonial history that the Mi'kmaq survived. In particular, he works to create awareness of Governor Edward Cornwallis's 1749 "extirpation policy," which advocated the total annihilation of the Mi'kmaw people by placing a bounty on Mi'kmaw scalps. Regardless of this legacy, to this day Governor Cornwallis is honored as the founding father of Halifax and continues to have statues, streets, and buildings named after him.

During the treaty diplomacy period the Mi'kmaq entered into treaties with different European nations. Mi'kmaw laws, then, are important for understanding why so many different treaties were negotiated between the Mi'kmaw Grand Council and the British Crown. Treaty research has been a lifelong pursuit of James Sakej Henderson, and his introduction to the treaties makes it easier to understand the complex legal and historic framework within them. The largest essay within this collection is the story of the Mi'kmaw Grand Council relayed in the Covenant Chain. In one of the only works written down—and in English—by the executives of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council, the plight of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council and their continued struggle for justice is showcased.

Another important theme within this collection is the relationship between the Mi'kmaq and the territory now called New England, or Pastimkawa'ki, as we have come to know it. While the majority of Mi'kmaq live in Canada, they have always had a special relationship with New England. Perhaps the best illustrations of this are the Treaty of 1725 at Boston and the treaty with the newly formed United States signed in 1776 at Watertown. The Mi'kmaq at the time were considered a fierce threat and fighting force, and their knowledge of the eastern coast made them a great ally to any nation that planned to inhabit or defend newly created colonial settlements. Under the authority of these treaties, many Mi'kmaq sought a livelihood in New England, and with the federal recognition of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in 1991, the relationships have been strengthened and continue today.

The treaty denial period is another dark period of cultural genocide for the Mi'kmaw people, when policies such as the Indian Act, Indian residential schools, and centralization were aimed at assimilating Mi'kmaw people and controlling their resources. This collection thus includes documented history on Indian residential schools and centralization, including an excerpt from the Grand Council's Covenant Chain. Isabelle Knockwood's book Out of the Depths is a suggested reading for those looking for more information on the residential schools attended by Mi'kmaq.

The Indian residential schools, by eroding Mi'kmaw culture, stealing the language from many, and creating ongoing distrust of government and religion, have left a tragic legacy among victims and their families. Many survivors of the residential schools have experienced a syndrome that closely resembles posttraumatic stress disorder; as a result, several generations of Mi'kmaq have grown up in households filled with personal and social problems. Centralization, which was built on the promises of better housing, health services, education, and welfare payments, decreased Mi'kmaw participation in the workforce and in traditional methods of sustenance such as hunting, fishing, and crafts. This has created among many in Mi'kmaw communities a sense of entitlement for justice to be served and for the government to fulfill promises made more than two generations ago.

The essay "Structural Unemployment: The Mi'kmaq Experience," by Dr. Marie Battiste, provides a brief look at the role centralization played the experience of Mi'kmaw people. This policy was meant to move Mi'kmaq into two centralized reserves in Nova Scotia, supposedly saving the federal government on costs of administering funding to the Mi'kmaq, but it also isolated Mi'kmaq in two reserves away from their traditional communities and sustainable practices, while limiting their access to employment, resources, and other economic benefits. By doing so, the federal and provincial governments created a welfare economy for the Mi'kmaq and a dependence on government handouts for their day-to-day survival. Today the impacts of both the Indian residential schools and centralization continue to affect Mi'kmaw people's self-determination and self-sufficiency.

The recent Mi'kmaw revival and successes of the Mi'kmaq in the treaty recognition era have been based largely on the Mi'kmaw treaties and the recognition of inherent Aboriginal rights. In 1929 the Canadian justice system was quick to dismiss the claims of treaty rights of Mi'kmaq in the Sylliboy decision; the recent trilogy of Mi'kmaw rights cases—Simon, Marshall, and Sappier/Grey —has recognized rights of the Mi'kmaw people and provided hope for a different future. Both the Constitution of Canada and the Canada Act of 1982 create a legal context in which the Mi'kmaq have been able to compel the government of Canada into negotiations based on Mi'kmaq rights. Included in this Mi'kmaw collection, therefore, is the conclusion to my essay titled "Understanding the Progression of Mi'kmaw Law," which highlights how Mi'kmaw traditions and teaching have been used as the basis for a constitutional recognition and reconciliation of Mi'kmaw rights and explores the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

As Mi'kmaw people look ahead to a new era that involves treaty implementation and reconciliation with the various levels of government, an empowering education system is ever more needed. Of merit in higher education are the science and humanities courses that are now taught using traditional pedagogical methods along with contemporary Western systems. Elders have called this method a "two-eyed seeing" approach.

While several interpretations of history have been written by Mi'kmaw and non-Mi'kmaw men and women, the Mi'kmaq today are beginning to document their own oral traditions in creative forms such as film, photography, and art. The novel Stones and Switches by the late Lorne Simon tells the story of a young Depression-era Mi'kmaw man who seeks understanding of the world around him and of what it means to be Mi'kmaq at that time. And many new creative works are emerging, including documentaries like The Spirit World, by Keptin John Joe Sark of Prince Edward Island, and The Spirit of Annie Mae (Aquash), by Cathy Martin of Millbrook. The oral history of the Mi'kmaq in its most beautiful form can also be found within Mi'kmaw music, by bands such as Morning Star, The Relatives, Eagle Feather, and A Tribe Called Mi'kmaq. It is important to remember that while the written word has been used by most academics, modern media have begun to help the Mi'kmaq preserve their oral traditions.

The final theme that this Mi'kmaw collection explores is the relationship between the Mi'kmaq and the New England area. This is a personal journey for me as well, as my mother was born and raised in Houlton, Maine. Many members of my extended family have lived and raised their children in the New England area, and some continue to live there today. Much like the tales of other Mi'kmaq who sought a better livelihood in New England, the last few pieces below focus on Mi'kmaq who chose to travel to areas of Massachusetts or Maine. Elder Elsie Charles Basque's story from "Here to There" is a short story that documents the journey of one family. Given that many Mi'kmaw families continue to live in the New England area, during my research I asked some of these families why they chose to live in New England, away from their ancestral homes and family. Their stories tell of better economic opportunities, less discriminatory work environments, or wanting to be part of their own family's history in New England. Many Mi'kmaq have experienced greater educational and economic opportunities in cities such as Boston, Portland, or Bangor, which they feel they could not have found in Canada.

Today Mi'kmaq continue to do seasonal migrations to harvest the blueberries in Maine, a kind of rite of passage for many Mi'kmaw youth who took to the fields as soon as they were able. They did so in order to make money for the upcoming school year, for school clothes, or to support their families. For many, it is the way to pay off their cars or to get needed items that they could not afford otherwise. My own earliest memories of that time include being fourteen and working all day under the hot sun for two dollars per box of berries. I received my first paycheck for hard manual labor, which I then proudly used to buy my school clothes in Maine. I have fond memories of those days, staying in small cabins in Maine, without electricity or running water, being so sore from head to toe from bending over in the hot sun all day but eating well and enjoying the ancient camaraderie of communal friends and family. Like my ancestors, I spent summers in Maine, taking part in what they had done for generations before me. In his poetry Lindsay Marshall captures the experiences of so many who have gone to New England for generations to gain a temporary livelihood in those blueberry fields; however, for some, New England is not just a temporary location, but home. This ability of Mi'kmaw people—to be connected to homeland and kin even while living in and traveling to different places—is reflected in the works of the last two writers in this section, Alice Azure and Starlit Simon.

Chief Stephen Augustine

(Tribal Elder)

An elder of the Elsipogtog (Big Cove) First Nation in New Brunswick, Stephen Augustine is a hereditary chief on the Mi'kmaq Grand Council. He also serves as curator of eastern maritime ethnology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Quebec. In 2009 Augustine received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Culture, Heritage, and Spirituality. Of the selection below, he says, "My grandmother, who lived to be one hundred years old, passed this story on to me. This is part of the Mi'kmaq creation story." Chief Augustine wrote it especially for this volume.

Mi'kmaq Creation Story

In Mi'kmaq tradition there are seven levels of creation. These levels correspond to seven stages in the creation of the world. The first level is the act of creation itself. Some people would call it the Creator, but in Mi'kmaq culture it is more about the wonder and unfolding of creation. The word we use is kisúlk. This means "you are being created." Kisúlk is the Giver of Life.

The second level is the Sun, which we call Niskam, or Grandfather. When we stand in the Sun we cast a shadow. The shadow represents the spirits of our ancestors. Grandfather Sun puts spirit into life.

The third level is Sitqamúk, Mother Earth. Mother Earth gives us all the necessities of life through the elements of the earth: water, rocks, soils, plants, animals, fish, and so on. Mother Earth sustains life.

The fourth level of creation is Kluskap, the First One Who Spoke. He is created from a bolt of lightning that hits the surface of Mother Earth. He is made of the elements of the earth: feathers and bone and skin and dirt and grass and sand and pebbles and water. An eagle comes to Kluskap with a message from the Giver of Life, Grandfather Sun, and Mother Earth. The eagle tells Kluskap that he will be joined by his family, who will help him understand his place in this world.

The first of Kluskap's family to arrive is the Grandmother, Nukumi. She is formed from a rock. She brings wisdom and knowledge. The Grandmother is the fifth level of creation.

The next of Kluskap's family to arrive is the Nephew, Netawansum. He is formed from the sweet-smelling grass. He brings strength and can see into the future. The Nephew is the sixth level of creation.

The last of Kluskap's family to arrive is the Mother, Nikanaptekewisqw. She is formed from a leaf. She brings love for all her children, so that they will care for one another. She also brings the colours of the world. The Mother is the seventh level of creation.

As each member of his family arrives, Kluskap asks his fellow beings—the animals, the fish, and the plants—to sustain the Mi'kmaq peoples. Kluskap also calls upon the wind to fan the sparks left by the first bolt of lightning. This gives birth to the Great Spirit Fire. The seven families of the Algonquin peoples are formed from sparks that fly out of this fire and land upon the Earth. The Mi'kmaq are one of these families.


Excerpted from Dawnland Voices by Siobhan Senier. Copyright © 2014 Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Siobhan Senier

Introduction by Jaime Battiste

Chief Stephen Augustine
Mi’kmaq Creation Story
Grand Council of the Mi’kmaq Nation
The Covenant Chain
Elsie Charles Basque (b. 1916)
From Here to There
Rita Joe (1932–2007)
From Song of Rita Joe
Daniel N. Paul (b. 1938)
From We Were Not the Savages
Marie Battiste (b. 1949)
Structural Unemployment: The Mi’kmaq Experience
James Sakej Youngblood Henderson (b. 1944)
Mi’kmaq Treaties
Lorne Simon (1960–1994)
From Stones and Switches
Lindsay Marshall (b. 1960)
Clay Pots and Bones
Mainkewin? (Are You Going to Maine?)
Jaime Battiste (b. 1979)
From “Understanding the Progression of Mi’kmaq Law”
Alice Azure (b. 1940)
Repatriation Soliloquy
Mi’kmaq Haiku
Starlit Simon (b. 1983)
Without a Microphone
In Quest of Road Kill

Further Reading

Introduction by Juana Perley

Gabe Acquin (1839–1901)
Chief James Paul
Letter to Edward Sapir, 1911
Henry “Red Eagle” Perley (1885–1972)
The Red Man’s Burden
Shirley Bear
Freeport, Maine
History Resource Material
Baqwa’sun, Wuli Baqwa’sun
September Morning
Fragile Freedoms
Andrea Bear Nicholas
Linguicide, the Killing of Languages, and the Case for Immersion Education
Chief Brenda Commander (b. 1958)
Open Letter to Barack Obama
Mihku Paul (b. 1958)
The Ballad of Gabe Acquin
The Water Road
20th Century PowWow Playland
Trade in the 21st Century

Further Reading

Introduction by Donald Soctomah

Sopiel Soctomah (1755–1820)
Wampum Reading
Chief Francis Joseph Neptune (1735–1834)
Speech, 1813
Deacon Sockabasin (1790–1888)
Save the Fish and Wildlife and Return Our Land!
Joseph Stanislaus (1800–1880)
"You don’t make the trees . . ."
Sopiel Selmore (1814–1903)
Megaque’s Last Battle
Tomah Joseph (1837–1914)
The Power of One’s Will
Lewis Mitchell (1847–1930)
Speech before the Maine State Legislature, 1887
Letter to Charles Godfrey Leland
Sylvia Gabriel (1929–2003)
Wounded Be
From Dusk to Dawn
Peter Mitchell (1929–1978)
Open Letter to Americans
Mary Ellen Stevens (Socobasin, 1947–1988)
Passamaquoddy Girl
Donald Soctomah (b. 1955)
Skicin Love
Forever Tribal Love
Sacred Color Red
Vera Francis (b. 1958)
Technology Meets Ecology: Passamaquoddy Bay
Dawna Meader (b. 1959)
Gordon Island
Dream of the Hunter’s Dance
Susie Mitchell Sutton (b. 1963)
My Story of the Dragonfly and My Sister Rae-Lee and My MOM!
Wendy Newell Dyer (b. 1964)
A Warrior’s Homecoming
Russell Bassett (b. 1967)
A Measure of Timelessness
Majestic Beauty
Of Life from Life
One Aspect of the Journey of Life
Kani Malsom (b. 1969)
To My Brothers
Rolfe Richter (b. 1969)
"Spring drew its first breath the previous day . . ."
Christine Downing (b. 1972)
A Summer Day in Motahkomikuk
Maggie Neptune Dana (b. 1973)
Coming Together
Sacred Hoop Ceremony
Marie Francis (b. 1975)
Diminished Dreams
Natalie Dana (b. 1985)
Fragmented People
With This Pencil
Jenny Soctomah (b. 1985)
"The spirit is deep within us . . ."
Ellen Nicholas (b. 1987)
The Heart of Sipayik
Sipayik Reservation 1974
Cassandra Dana (b. 1992)
Kci Woliwon

Further Reading

Introduction by Carol Dana

Penobscot Governors and Indians in Council
Maine State Power
Joseph Nicolar (1827–1894)
The Scribe of the Penobscots Sends Us His Weekly Message
Molly Spotted Elk (1903–1977)
We’re In the Chorus Now
"I’m free in the world of these carpeted hills . . ."
"Some ten or few years so ago or more . . ."
Baby Girl
The Lost Soul of the Wilderness
The Dreamer—Moodas (The Dream Spirit)
Northern Lights
Fred Ranco (1932–2008)
The Avenger
ssipsis (b. 1941)
Injun Laugh
Gewh Huz
Donna Loring (b. 1948)
The Dark Ages of Education and a New Hope: Teaching Native American History in Maine Schools
Carol Dana (b. 1952)
Penobscot Home Nation
We’re Like the Moss on the Rock
Caribou Lake Winter
"Mother of three didn’t know . . ."
"Pensive in her rocking chair . . ."
A Walk to Ktadhin
Rhonda Frey (1955–2009)
Growing Up with Stereotypes: A Native Woman’s Perspective
John Bear Mitchell (b. 1968)
What’s It Like Today? (from the Ulnerbeh series)
Sherri Mitchell (b. 1969)
Nokomis Speaks: Message to the Seventh Generation
Sky Woman
The Lodge
Nick Bear (b. 1985)
Dry Funk
Treaty of 2010
february weather makes me feel like this

Further Reading

Introduction by Lisa Brooks

Samuel Numphow
Letter to Thomas Henchman
Petitions, c. 1685
Petition at No. 2, Kwinitekw, 1747
Joseph Laurent (1839–1917)
Preface to New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues
Henry Lorne Masta (1853–?)
From Abenaki Indian Legends, Grammar and Place-Names
Robert James Tahamont (1891–?)
Chief Teedyuscung
The Masquerade Ball
Stephen Laurent (1909–2001)
The Abenakis of Vermont
Claudia Mason Chicklas (1926–2008)
A Profile in Courage
Aunt Mary and Uncle Frank
Joseph Bruchac III (b. 1942)
From Bowman’s Store
Burial Places along the Long River
Carol Willette Bachofner (b. 1947)
Abenaki Divorce
Winter Bringer
In the Abenaki Manner
Naming Water
The Old Man’s Walk
Planting Moon Kikas
Burial Dress
Cheryl Savageau (b. 1950)
Poison in the Pond
Where I Want Them
Swift River—Kancamagus
Before Moving on to Plymouth from Cape Cod—1620
Amber Necklace
Looking for Indians
French Girls Are Fast
Donna Laurent Caruso (b. 1951)
The Removal Period
Nnd Haiku: A Trilogy
Abenaki Filmmaker Earns Luminaria Award
Margaret M. Bruchac (b. 1953)
War Wounds: Sophie Senecal Goes to Washington
Praying Spoils the Hunting
Suzanne S. Rancourt (b. 1959)
Take From My Hair—Memories of Change
Fanning Fire
Singing Across the River
Even When the Sky Was Clear
When the Air Is Dry
James Bruchac (b. 1968)
Tracking My Nature
Jesse Bruchac (b. 1972)
Gluskonba’s Fish Trap (Klosk8ba Adelahigan)

Further Reading

Introduction by Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler

Wowaus (James Printer, c. 1640–c. 1709)
Note Tacked to a Tree, Medfield, Massachusetts, 1676[?]
Ransom Note for Mary Rowlandson
Ebenezer Hemenway (1804–c. 1878)
On the Death of His Mother, February 17, 1847
Zara Ciscoe Brough (1919–1988)
Days of Hassanamesit
Corrine Bostic (1927–1981)
Ballad for Bubba
Dedication to the Young: Cuttin’ a Spoonful
For Teachers: A Self-Reminder
Richard Spotted Rabbit Massey (1934–2012)
Hepsibeth Bowman Crosman Hemenway, 1763–1847
Edwin W. Morse Sr. (Chief Wise Owl, 1929–2010)
Chief Wise Owl’s Prayer
Kitt Little Turtle (George Munyan, 1940–2004)
Coyote Spirit
Nipmuck Legend
Legend about Hobbamock
The Heat Moon
Nancy Bright Sky Harris (b. 1952)
To Carol and David with Love
Woman of the Warrior
Wind from Summer
The Gifted Porcupine Roach Maker
Creator of Life
Hear Your People
There Was a Time
Hawk Henries (b. 1956)
Carrying the Flute
Cheryl Watching Crow Stedtler (b. 1960)
Honoring a Father and a Son
Full Circle
Never Too Late to Dance
"Circle low . . ."
Cheryll Toney Holley (b. 1962)
A Brief Look at Nipmuc History
Bruce Curliss (b. 1965)
“Authentic,” Power, and Stuck in My Craw
Woman, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Lover
Larry Spotted Crow Mann (b. 1967)
From “Deal Me In”
Heart in the Clouds
The Crow
Sarah “She Paints Horses” Stedtler (b. 1997)
The Fresh Water People
An Indian Gathering
The Dancer’s Foot

Further Reading

Introduction by Joan Tavares Avant (Granny Squannit)

Early Texts in Massachusett
Petition from Gay Head Sachem Mittark, 1681
Petition from Gay Head, 1749
Petition from Gay Head to Commissioners of New England Company
Alfred DeGrasse (1890–1978)
About Poison Ivy
The Legend of the Red Eagle
Mabel Avant (1892–1964)
The Voice of Our Forsaken Church
Helen Manning (1919–2008)
From Moshup’s Footsteps
Frank James (Wamsutta, 1923–2001)
National Day of Mourning
Helen Attaquin (1923–1993)
How Martha’s Vineyard Came to Be
From “There Are Differences”
Russell Peters (Fast Turtle, 1929–2002)
From The Wampanoags of Mashpee
Anne Foxx (b. 1950)
Historical Continuities in Indigenous Women’s Political Activism: An Interview with Joan Tavares Avant
Linda Coombs
Holistic History: Including the Wampanoag in an Exhibit at Plimoth Plantation
Paula Peters
Wampanoag Reflections
Beware: Not All Terms Are Fair Game
Robert Peters (b. 1962)
Red Sun Rising
Mwalim *7)/Morgan James Peters
From A Mixed Medicine Bag

Further Reading

Introduction by Dawn Dove

Letters to Eleazar Wheelock (1760s)
Thomas Commuck (1805–1855)
Letter to Wilkins Updike, 1837
Letter to Elisha Potter, 1844
The Narragansett Dawn (1935–1936)
Editorial (May 1935)
The Boston Marathon (May 1935)
Editorial (August 1935)
“Indian Meeting Day,” by Fred V. Brown (August 1935)
Narragansett Tongue: Lesson 11 (March 1936)
Fireside Stories (July 1936)
Ella Wilcox Sekatau
I Found Him on a Hill Top
Life and Seasons Must Surely Change
For the Children
Sometimes I Wish I Could Rage Like You
Sure I’m Still Hanging Around
Paulla Dove Jennings
Dawn Dove
Alienation of Indigenous Students in the Public School System
In Order to Understand Thanksgiving, One Must Understand the Sacredness of the Gift000
John Christian Hopkins (b. 1960)
Troopers Lead Attack on Narragansett Reservation
Tarzan Brown
William O.
Sad Country Songs
Nuweetooun School (2003–2009)
“Roaring Brook,” by Lorén M. Spears
“The Four Animals” and “The Three Sisters,” by Dasan Everett
“The creator made us all . . . ,” by Darrlyn Sand Fry
“Sky woman falling from the sky . . . ,” by Laurel Spears
Thawn Harris (b. 1978)
“Thank You, met Colleagues . . .”
Eleanor Dove Harris (b. 1979)
Letter to California State University Administration, Faculty, and Student Body
The Pursuit of Happiness (2005)
From “Happiness in Our Own Words,” by Ella Sekatau and Dawn Dove
From “Pursuit of Happiness: An Indigenous View on Education,” by Lorén M. Spears

Further Reading

Introduction by Stephanie M. Fielding

Samson Occom (1723–1791)
Montaukett Tribe to the State of New York
Mohegan and Niantic Tribes to the Connecticut Assembly
“The most remarkable . . . Appearance of Indian Tribes”
Joseph Johnson (1751–1776)
From His Diaries
Letter to Samson Occom
Fidelia Fielding (1827–1908)
Man’s Relationship with God
The Truth of Tomorrow
Mary Virginia Morgan (1897–1988)
Address at 100th Anniversary of the Mohegan Church
Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899–2005)
See the Beauty Surrounding Us
An Affectionate Portrait of Frank Speck
Jayne Fawcett (b. 1936)
Attic Dawn
Pan’s Song
Faith Damon Davison (b. 1940)
Mohegan Food
Stephanie M. Fielding (b. 1945)
The Hoop
Sharon I. Maynard (b. 1953)
Long Island Sound
A Winter’s Morn
William Donehey (b. 1955)
His Lover
Spirit Teacher
The Course of Love
Joe Smith (b. 1956)
Fade into White
Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel (b. 1960)
The Window
Alysson Troffer (b. 1960)
The Little Girl on the Hook
Eric Maynard (b. 1976)
The Circle
“Native American Professor . . .”
Madeline Fielding Sayet (b. 1989)
When the Whippoorwill Calls

Further Reading

Introduction by Trudie Lamb Richmond and Ruth Garby Torres

Howard N. Harris (1900–1967)
Letter to the Department of State Parks
Irving A. Harris (1931–2005)
Letter to Brenden Keleher
Trudie Lamb Richmond (b. 1931)
Why Does the Past Matter? Eunice Mauwee’s Resistance Was Our Path to Survival
Growing Up Indian (or Trying To) in Southern New England
Paulette Crone-Morange (1943–2004)
From “The Schaghticoke and English Law: A Study of Community Survival”
Ruth Garby Torres (b. 1955)
Eulogy for Irving Harris
Aileen Harris McDonough (b. 1975)
How I Became a (Paid) Writer
On Loss
Wunneanatsu Cason (b. 1980)
I’m Off to See the Wizard
Deployments and Motherhood
Garry Meeches Jr. (b. 1997)
Polar Bear Poem
I Am
Senses: Hear
What Never Dies
Build a Poem

Further Reading

Source Acknowledgments

Customer Reviews