Nipmuc Indian Association of Connecticut
The Year in Review
April 1995 - April 1996

Since members have joined NIAC at different times, we wanted to let everyone know just what we were up to in the past year:

Archaeological Preservation:

In October, 1995 we submitted a proposal to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation requesting funds to purchase an historic Nipmuc site in Woodstock, CT. Our request has been met with silence. For the 2nd year, we participated in CT Archaeology Week by conducting a public exhibit and scientific archaeological dig called Voices From the Past -- What Native American Artifacts Tell Us. The event was sponsored by the Office of State Archaeologist and held at a site in Tolland, CT which will be destroyed so that an elderly housing complex can be built. The dig was professionally supervised by archaeologists. Artifacts from the site were turned over to the State Archaeologist for cataloging and analysis so that the 'story' of Native American activities there can be recorded.

Educational Programs:

During the past year, members have had opportunities to learn: what wampum was, its significance to Native Americans in New England, and how to weave with (imitation) wampum beads; when New England Native Americans began making pottery, what styles and decorating techniques were used, and how to make our own pots using that knowledge; to make a duck decoy out of cattails; where Nipmuc lived in northeastern CT, with specific information on an historic site called the "Indian tract" in Woodstock, CT; how the frame for a wetu (a.k.a. wigwam) was constructed, and how to weave the mats that were used to cover the frame; what plants and techniques Native Americans used to make thread and cord.

NIAC participated in: the CT Museum of Natural History's Family Archaeology Day with an exhibit of ancient and contemporary Native American pottery; and the Association of Northeastern Connecticut Historical Societies' Heritage Hall exhibit at the Brooklyn Fair, where our book Nipmuc Place Names of New England was for sale as well as our free membership brochure and flier on the "Praying Towns" of northeastern CT.

NIAC achieved federal tax-exempt status, which will enable expansion of the organization and its programs.

NIAC was the first Native American organization in Connecticut to make cultural information on a New England tribe available on the Internet.

Our quarterly "Quinnehtukqut Nipmuc News" continued to be published, bringing news on upcoming programs and events, community news, a Native American History quiz question/answer, articles on Native American culture, and occasionally poetry and recipes.

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