Image Credit: Gwyn Gutheil
Land acknowledgements are made to honor and respect the strength and resilience of indigenous peoples in protecting this land. We begin by acknowledging that the lands and waterways of what is now the state of Connecticut have been stewarded by the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Nipmuc, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Niantic, Lenape, and the Quinnipiac and other Algonquian speaking peoples throughout the generations.
“Trinity College is located just west of the Kwinitekw, or Connecticut River, within Wangunk homelands. The river valley has sustained countless generations of Wangunk people, joined by Indigenous communities from across the globe, including within Hartford’s Andean, Central American, and Caribbean communities. Situated in Hartford, we at Trinity have ongoing investment in recognizing and celebrating the Indigenous communities of Connecticut, New England, and beyond” (Trinity College Indigenous Studies Working Group).
In practical recognition of this land acknowledgement and to directly support Indigenous communities, there are several action steps that we can take: (selected steps from Voices of Witness).
Please also join us in celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month by exploring this collection of books, lectures, podcasts, documentaries, visual art, digital exhibits, and museums. The collection includes books from Trinity, Wesleyan, and Connecticut College libraries. Books can be borrowed from any of the three libraries.
The rare book and manuscript materials displayed here represent just a small sample of the Watkinson Library's holdings on indigenous people and indigenous cultures. In the spirit of Indigenous Heritage Month, we have sought, wherever possible, to highlight materials produced by members of indigenous communities rather than those produced by outsiders. Needless to say, far more of the materials in Watkinson Library are the products of the settler-colonists who, wittingly or unwittingly, took part in or benefitted from the dispossession of native lands. These materials vary considerably in their forms and objectives--some are pictorial representations of significant tribal figures, others illustrate the variety of indigenous customs and practices, while still others aim at the Christianization of indigenous people through religious texts translated into their native languages. While we have decided not to include some of this material in this particular list--in order to give priority to the self-representations produced by indigenous people--they form a significant part of the source material that might inform the writing of histories of indigenous people in America. These additional materials are readily discoverable by searching Trinity's online library catalog or the Watkinson Library's archival finding aids.
The materials in this highly selective list take many forms, including printed books, manuscripts in loose and bound form, graphic and photographic arts, and even realia.
Dr. Carolyn Smith (Karuk Tribe) draws on her experience as a museum anthropologist and former tribal museum administrator to describe visions of Indigenous self-representation and healing through the creation of tribal museums and cultural centers. This presentation was hosted as part of the fall 2021 course, Decentering and Re-centering History: Anthropology of Museums, taught by Professor Amanda Guzmán.