From Nonotuck to Northampton; Margaret Bruchac

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2022
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online


Registration is closed

We Are Still Here:
Indigenous Peoples of the Northeast

2022 University Days


Professor Margaret Bruchac

From Nonotuck to Northampton: Recovering Histories of Indigenous Persistence

Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm EDT

Free Online via Zoom

The Indigenous homeland known as Nonotuck is situated along both sides of the “long river” Kwinitekw (the Connecticut River), including parts of present-day Easthampton, Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, South Hadley, and Amherst. During the 1600s, Native leaders in Agawam (now Springfield) and Nonotuck (now Northampton and Hadley) invited English colonists to establish small trading posts and settlements in the region. Sachems like Umpanchela and Chickwalloppe negotiated diplomatic and trade relations with English colonial settlers and land brokers and attempted to preserve, in written deeds, Indigenous rights to hunt, fish, gather, plant, and live here in perpetuity. But, by the late 1600s, colonial conflict and warfare violated these agreements and fractured these relations. After King Philip’s War, the Nonotuck and many of their Native neighbors folded into refugee communities at Schaghticoke and elsewhere. Some Native families maintained a presence in the region throughout the 1800s, traveling familiar waterways, marketing baskets and brooms, and dispensing traditional Native medicines. This talk offers glimpses into Native colonial relations, while also reflecting on the lives of the Native families who continued to inhabit Nonotuck long after it became Northampton.

Dr. Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) – in her multi-modal career as a performer, ethnographer, historian, archaeologist, and museum consultant – has long been committed to critical analyses of colonial histories and recoveries of Indigenous histories. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bruchac is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Associate Faculty in the Penn Cultural Heritage Center (see: Bruchac also directs “The Wampum Trail,” a restorative research project designed to reconnect wampum belts in museum collections with their related Indigenous communities (see: She has long served as a consultant to New England museums, including Historic Northampton, Historic Deerfield, and Old Sturbridge Village. Her 2018 book – Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists (University of Arizona Press 2018) – was the winner of the Council for Museum Anthropology Book Award (

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Learning about the United State’s Native American Heritage is vital to weaving a more equitable social fabric for everyone. If you would like to contribute to our continuing work towards this goal click here to make a contribution to OLLI’s Northeast Indigenous Initiative, found in the “Designation” drop down menu.

We Are Still Here: Indigenous Peoples of the Northeast is supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council through the local cultural councils of Alford-Egremont, Dalton, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Mount Washington, North Berkshire, Otis, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield and Stockbridge and with in-kind support and partnership from Berkshire Community College.

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