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:
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.
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
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.