Land Acknowledgement

 

aerial view of Hawthorne Valley's campus at sunrise after a snow fall

We invite you to participate in this Land Acknowledgement as a gesture of respect and part of Hawthorne Valley’s process of truth and reconciliation.

We pay respect to the Mohican People, and their elders past and present. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together today. Please join us in uncovering the truth.

Hawthorne Valley is located within the Hudson River Estuary watershed on the stolen ancestral land of the Mohican People, who call themselves Muh-he-con-ne-ok or People of the Waters That Are Never Still. The Muh-he-con-ne-ok have been stewards of these forests and fields throughout the generations. The Agawamuck (“of many fish”) Creek flows through this valley southward where it joins with the Twastawekaksipus – “creek flowing from sweet springs” (named Claverack Creek by Dutch colonizers) – near High Falls, on its way to the Hudson River, named Mahicannituck – The River That Flows Both Ways – by the Muh-he-con-ne-ok.

We recognize that colonialism, which is ongoing today, resulted in the theft of these lands from Indigenous Peoples. We understand that the colonizers profited from that theft, and that Hawthorne Valley has inherited benefits from those acts. At Hawthorne Valley, we seek to honor those that came before us and steward this land using ancient practices and indigenous wisdom designed to generate life-giving fertility and support biodiversity. We strive to educate the generations about our interconnectedness and to center nature as healer and teacher in order to foster compassion for the ecological and cultural landscape.

Today approximately one third of the enrolled tribal members of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans (about 1,500 people) lives on a reservation in Bowler Wisconsin on the traditional lands of the Menominee Nation. Enrolled tribal members also live in other parts of Wisconsin, the United States and the world. The Muh-he-con-ne-ok were forced to move from their homelands beginning in 1818 when profit-hungry land companies began pressuring New York State to remove all Indians from within its borders. A long period of many forced removals and relocations followed. By the late 1800’s almost every Native nation had been confined to reservations. We invite you to learn more about the Stockbridge Munsee Community by visiting their website.

Many people who live or work on Mohican lands are encouraged to support the Stockbridge Munsee Community Department of Cultural Affairs’ efforts to steward their history, culture, and language. To make a donation for the planning and construction of a new cultural center, visit this link: https://www.mohican.com/services/cultural-services/cultural-affairs/.

In this, our 50th year, Hawthorne Valley has added a reparations line to its budget that will remain going forward in order to help support local Black and Indigenous-led initiatives. In order to honor their culture and support their work, we are also working to foster connections with members of the Stockbridge Munsee Community.

Additionally, we encourage you to participate in Indigenous-led grassroots change movements and campaigns through such organizations as Native Movement, Cultural Survival and First Nations Development Institute which improve economic conditions for Native Americans through direct financial grants, technical assistance and training, and advocacy and policy.

 

Please direct any questions about our Land Acknowledgement to Heather Gibbons.