Image created by Yoli Bergstrom-Lynch
Join CT State Manchester faculty and the Damato Library in celebrating National Native American Heritage Month by exploring this new mini collection of books, films, lectures, podcasts, visual art, notable scholars, and Tribal museums that spotlight the history, cultures, traditions, lived experiences, and contributions of Native Peoples. Native American Heritage Month also represents an opportunity to learn and raise awareness about historical and contemporary challenges and the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples. We begin with a land acknowledgement.
Land acknowledgements are made to honor and to 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 (“at the Long Tidal River” in Algonquian) have been stewarded by the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Nipmuc, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Niantic, Lenape, Podunk, Menunkatuck, Wangunk, and the Quinnipiac and other Algonquian speaking peoples throughout the generations.
CT State Community College’s Manchester campus rests on the lands of the Podunk and Wangunk people. You can use this map from the University of Connecticut (https://tinyurl.com/mpmbraw8) to help identify the locations of tribes in Connecticut circa 1625. Use the Native Land Digital map at https://native-land.ca/ to locate Indigenous lands anywhere in the world.
We are happy to provide this resource to you as a first step in developing the critical consciousness needed to, in the words of Black feminist poet Audre Lorde, “transform silence, into language, into action” (see Sister Outsider). In practical recognition of this land acknowledgement and to directly support Indigenous communities, we also wish to provide a list of action steps everyone on campus can take (steps adapted from Voices of Witness):
Listen to and engage with Native American voices and educate yourself by reading materials from this collection. Ask yourself: “Are there assignments I can work on that can integrate Native American voices?” Or, ask yourself: “How can I incorporate these resources into my learning?”
Reflect on the voices you hear. Think about ways you can advocate for these voices by asking your local library or other resource center if they can include more materials in their collections by and about Native Peoples.
Share with a friend or family member the resource you’ve read or watched. Telling someone about your learning is a good way to get a conversation going. It is also a good way to share your interests and convey what is important to you.
Listen to Native American voices and educate yourself by reading materials from this collection. Ask yourself: “In what ways can these voices and perspectives provide a more holistic sense of identity within my community?”
Reflect on the voices you’ve heard. Try to generate ideas on how to provide more opportunities for these voices to be heard within your community.
Share your learning and your reflection with others. Or, create something of your own that responds to what you have learned. Dialogue can come in many forms; the important thing is that a dialogue of some kind gets developed. Continue that dialogue with others.
Take some time to listen to and engage with Native American voices and educate yourself by reading materials from this collection. Ask yourself: “How can these voices encourage me to think about the populations I serve?” Or, ask yourself: “How can I incorporate these resources into my pedagogy?”
Take some time to reflect. Consider sharing the resource with coworkers. Or, consider diversifying your course content by adding resources from this collection. Engaging in any kind of dialogue about Native American voices is a good step.
Share your learning and your reflection with others. You might suggest to a coworker: “You know what I think you’d like?” In your classroom, you might say: “I want to try something different with you.” Your coworker would appreciate a tip on something that interests you. Students always appreciate a break from the normal routine!