Nipmuc Indian Association of Connecticut
Before the arrival of European people in the 1600’s, some 3,000 Nipmuc men, women and children lived in 39 band encampments or ‘villages’ scattered throughout Nipnet-- as farmers and fishermen, hunters and basketmakers.
The Nipmuc are not 'recognized' by the State as indigenous people of CT; the Nipmuc have no reservation land in Connecticut; the Nipmuc are not eligible to participate on the Connecticut Indian Affairs Council; the Nipmuc are not eligible, and have never been invited, to participate on the Native American Heritage Advisory Committee; and the Nipmuc are not even 'Indian' according to the State of Connecticut's definition! Who's to blame? Nipmuc People themselves!! Unlike the indigenous people who are 'recognized' in Connecticut, the 250+ Nipmuc of Connecticut have not come together as a group!
The Nipmuc Tribe is recognized by the State of Massachusetts, and two active Nipmuc groups in Massachusetts-- the Chaubunagungamaug Band in Webster and the Hassanamisco Band in Grafton-- continue to celebrate our common Native American heritage through educational and cultural programs, including annual pow wows, which preserve our heritage.
There are currently some 200 men, women and children in Connecticut who are Certified to be of Nipmuc heritage; many have expressed interest in establishing a formal group. There are very important reasons for Nipmuc People in Connecticut to meet on a regular basis: As a group we can apply for recognition by the State of Connecticut (each of the 5 tribes which Connecticut currently recognizes has reservation land); As a group we can request donations of Nipmuc baskets and other items made by our ancestors (most items are in non-Nipmuc hands); As a group we can work together to preserve historic Nipmuc village sites (instead of allowing evidence of our heritage to be dug up, carted away and used as landfill); As a group we can apply for foundation, State and Federal monies to run programs which benefit Nipmuc people in Connecticut; As a group we will be strengthening essential tribal social ties which make the Nipmuc people a distinct Native American Community in Connecticut.