Today, take a moment to thank the ones you know and also think of the many ancestors who have served this country.
The Brothertown Indian’s record of service began with the American Revolution and continued serving freedom for almost 250 years. Many of our members have given their lives in service to our country while protecting the freedoms and ideals we hold dear.
Our tribe’s legacy of service extended not only in peacetime but to virtually every American military conflict including; American Revolution with the colonists (19), War of 1812 (1+), Civil war (122), WWI (many), WWII (many), Korea, Vietnam, Middle East (Desert Storm, Afghanistan) and in times of peace.
I want to take this opportunity during National Native American Heritage Month to share with you a very special partnership formed between the Brothertown Indian Nation (BIN) and a group known as the Friends of Buttonhook Forest (FoBH).
The Tribal Council decided to enter into this historic partnership with a dedicated group of concerned citizen-neighbors that have been fighting for over ten years to preserve a local forest in Chappaqua New York located about 40 miles north of New York City. In 2022 the group became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and continued their efforts to raise money to purchase the forest, known as Buttonhook, from destruction.
The purpose of this partnership between BIN and FoBH is to purchase and preserve the 23-acre parcel known as Buttonhook Forest. A secondary and equally important goal of the partnership is to put the ownership and control of Buttonhook Forest in the hands of the Brothertown Indian Nation.
Buttonhook Forest is owned by the local Chappaqua Central School District (CCSD). The school district has been working with developers hoping to turn the property into a housing development for multi-millionaires and in the process has spent over $700,000.00 in site plans, engineering, and legal fees. The CCSD still does not have the permits needed to move forward and it’s likely it will never get the necessary permits.
Buttonhook Forest is a sacred site of important historical, cultural, archeological and environmental value for American Indians. The Buttonhook Forest can best be described as a ceremonial stone landscape. There are hand-laid stone monuments, serpent stone walls, ceremonial artifacts and stone markers identifying water ways. This site is also home to many different species of wildlife and is populated by box turtles, bobcats, foxes and owls. Environmental preservation; protecting the plants, animals and waterways beneath the Forest is an important reason by itself for trying to save the site from destruction.
I am sure you are wondering why this site is of particular importance to the BIN and why the Tribal Council entered into this partnership. It is likely, based upon historical information, that our ancestors traveled extensively through this area and no doubt attended ceremonies in this sacred place. It is possible the site may contain the remains of our ancestors and those of other tribes in the area. Buttonhook Forest should be preserved on behalf of all the tribes in the Northeast who once traversed this land. This site is an important part of U.S. history and part of the history of the American Indians in New England and the State of New York. This site holds many stories of our tribal ancestors and relatives who lived and died centuries ago. It is a piece of our story; the story of our ancestor’s trek from New York to Wisconsin. The BIN Tribal Council is taking action to do what it can to help protect and preserve this site for future generations of Brothertown Indians.
The property has been identified as a culturally significant site by several indigenous representatives including members of the Narragansett, Stockbridge-Munsee and the Ramapo Lenape Tribes. The native people who are involved in the effort to preserve Buttonhook Forest have welcomed our participation and offered us their support.
The Partnership composed of The Friends of Buttonhook Forest and the Brothertown Indian Nation, would not have been able to make a bid to purchase Buttonhook Forest without the financial backing from the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) to the Brothertown Indian Nation. The Indian Land Tenure Foundation works with Indian tribes to acquire or reacquire land. The Indian Land Tenure’s motto is Indian Land in Indian Hands.
The Brothertown Indian Nation, in an exercise of its sovereign power, stepped forward to partner with the Friends of Buttonhook Forest to try and save this ceremonial stone landscape. The Partnership offered to purchase the site in a closed bid process that took place at the end of August. The only bidder in the closed bid process was the Partnership of the Brothertown Indian Nation and the Friends of Buttonhook Forest. Although, the Partnership bid over a million dollars and put down a good faith deposit in the amount of $100,000.00 cash at the time of the bid, the school has not agreed to the sale. Efforts to purchase the Buttonhook property by the Partnership are ongoing at this time.
To summarize, the Brothertown Indian Nation is engaged in the process of trying to save an irreplaceable sacred site and also become the owners and guardians of that important place in the land of our ancestors. Helping to preserve Buttonhook is an exercise of sovereignty that every Brothertown Indian can be proud of. For more information about Buttonhook Forest go to http://www.preservebuttonhook.org
On October 29, 2020, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed the Second proclamation the Brothertown Nation has received from the State of Wisconsin — naming November 7th as Eeyamquittoowauconnuck (Brothertown) day. You can see the signed proclamation and other documents below. As some remember, our first Proclamation goes back to 1982 in naming a “Year of the Brotherton”.
This day is to celebrate not only the heritage of our Tribe, the decades of trials that our Ancestors endured (from New England, to New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, etc.) but includes many Brothertown from many places proudly recognized as the Brothertown Indian Nation! We celebrate together with our Engagement, Community, and inclusiveness as a single tribe. Whether in Fond du Lac, greater Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Pacific Northwest, and a multitude of other locations – we are Brothertown and stand together.
Take a moment to think about what the Tribe means to you, your ancestors, and future generations. We are also including some links to go to for some personal time and to learn more about our tribe on this important date:
From the Brothertown Indian Nation YouTube channel:
A few other videos to allow members to be with the tribe in some way on this important day – through our YouTube channel (a big thank you to Brothertown Forward for these pieces of history of the tribe):
From the Council, Peacemakers, and members in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pacific Northwest, and members throughout North America it has been a long journey to arrive at who the Brothertown Indian Nation is in 2022.
Brothertown Indian Nation homecoming Saturday, October 15, 2022
–Detailed information for the Brothertown Indian Nation Homecoming 2022–
We will gather together at the Brothertown Indian Nation Community Center, 311 Winnebago Drive, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin for a morning powwow! (Virtual Homecoming begins at 10am) Bring a potluck dish-to-pass for a lunchtime feast meal; and get ready for an afternoon full of activities, visiting and coming together as a community!
9am – Doors open
9:30am – Veterans & Dancers line up
10am Virtual Homecoming begins
(See Zoom login information at the bottom of this release)
10am – Grand Entry
12:30pm – Feast
1:30pm-4:30pm – Presentations, Crafts, Music & More!
Please wear regalia/dance outfits, ribbon skirts and ribbon shirts if you have them! We will have specials to honor our new members and volunteers.
Join us for:
Make & Take Crafts
Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org Skip Blanc 906-280-0565 or Jessica Ryan 612-508-3364 Vendors: contact Jessica Ryan 612-508-3364
As you are aware, due to health concerns related to COVID-19, we had to have a mostly remote Homecoming in 2020, with a few of us in person at the Community Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin while others joined in remotely on Zoom. In 2021, we were still experiencing the effects of COVID-19 and again hosted a hybrid Homecoming.
Here we are in 2022 and we could not be more excited to welcome all of you back HOME!
Throughout the day, we invite you to checkout our amazing Vendors and Craft Store to get clothes, lotions, decorations, beadwork, jewelry, mugs, cards for yourself or gifts! There will be amazing Raffle items to bid on! Donations received already include a ribbon skirt, books and crafts! If you have a basket/items to donate, please bring it and look for Jane.
In the afternoon, we have many activities and visiting planned: Roger Straw will introduce the wampum/quahog belt he made during the Pandemic for our Community; there will be multiple presentations on tribal projects, restoration efforts and more! Make and take crafts for all ages. The Museum will be open with new items, including a recently donated letter from 1817!
“As the largest lake entirely within Wisconsin’s borders, Lake Winnebago spans nearly 132,000 acres across three counties. Fed by the Wolf and Fox rivers, it’s a place rich in significance for several tribal nations, including the Ho Chunk, Meskwaki, Fox, Sauk, Menominee, Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee, Brothertown and others.”
It is this importance to multiple nations that led Mark Denning (Oneida/Menominee) to describe Lake Winnebago and its tributaries as “international waters.” Said Jessica Ryan, vice chair of the Brothertown Indian Nation, who recounted hearing this comment from Denning, “That (statement) really stuck out to us… We know that all these nations have called these waterways home, but that was really impactful. This is how all the trading happened, and the water sustained us. It’s the lifeblood of Earth.”
On this episode, we speak to the Lake Winnebago InterTribal Connectivity Project team as they embark on a multi-faceted, collaborative effort to assess water quality, sediments and wild rice habitat in Lake Winnebago. Said Blanc of the wide-ranging effort, “It’s going to take all of us, Native and non-native, from all spectrums of life to do this.”
Take a moment to listen to the whole podcast from Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute at the University of Wisconsin- Madision by clicking this link….
This coming Tuesday September 27th at 7pm CST and again on Tuesday October 4th at 7pm CST, Seth Wenger will be hosting a zoom conversation to discuss Brothertown Ancestor Andrew Curricomp, and the role his home played in Joseph Johnson’s work to organize Brothertown. He and Dr. Timothy Hsu have conducted research regarding the acoustics of the Curricomp house and have samples so Brothertown members can listen to the acoustics of the space. The Curricomp house is still standing in Tunxis Sepus, now Farmington, CT. Members can download an overview of the proposed project here…
For those who are not familiar with Seth Wenger, he has an involved history with The Brothertown Indian Nation over the years, perhaps most notable to members, was his wonderful mini- documentary “Sounding Indian melodies in New Haven Connecticut Brothertown Indian Nation” which can be viewed here on the BIN YouTube channel.
Please Visit the following links to find more information and a zoom link to participate in the meetings! This is a wonderful and important opportunity for us during our Restoration process.
Sep 27, 2022, 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
What is relevant to the Brothertown Indian Nation regarding this date?
Just over a month ago, on July 14th the Tribe celebrated Samson Occom Day. That is a hint…
Many of us know about the great awakening” and the impact it had on a young Samson Occom. At 20 twenty (the year was 1743), he went to study with Rev. Eleazar Wheelock who ran a school. He attended the school with the intent of learning how to read so he could study the bible on his own. Since his own conversion Occom began to share the gospel with other Indians as well. Even though he had very poor eyesight, he learned Latin and Greek as well as English. In fact, many of us also know he was one of the first American Indians to publish some of his works in English.
Eleazar Wheelock, began to think that he could use the other Indians (if they could be trained like Occom) – to carry the gospel to their own peoples. Soon he actively sought other Indians and used Samson Occom to travel to fill the school. Samson Occom had such an impact with spreading the gospel to other Indians, that he quickly became well known in religious circles in New England. Presbyterian leaders on Long Island seriously began to notice Samson’s work. They knew he did not complete college or his theological studies due to his poor eyesight. However on this date they ordained him August 30, 1759. His mission from then on was chiefly to be a missionary to his own peoples.
So now you know the importance of the date. (Now for some mystery about the specific date. Occom’s own diary mentions August 29th as the date of the ordination, and The “Sermon on the Ordination of Samson Occom” by Samuel Buell (you can download below) says August 29th – but Wikipedia and other sources mention he was “officially” ordained on August 30th so perhaps it only became “official” on August 30,, 1759 and the ordination ceremony/sermon was on the 29th.
Rather long way around, and Eleazar Wheelock was not quite finished with Samson Occom as he needed money for his Indian School and asked Samson to go to England to obtain funds – but that is another story for another time.
Interesting resources if you care to learn more: (Also, take a moment to investigate all the historical resources created for the new website, click on “Tribal Education and Reseach” which contains many links to our Tribal history and ancestors from athoritative and open sites...
Just like in 2021, the year 2022 was a challenge for everyone, including you as students, but you prevailed. You were all impacted by the COVID pandemic in some way, having to learn new ways to succeed, and being away from your friends, but you survived, and you accomplished it!
“This is a time we reflect on the efforts of our ancestors, those relatives that have gone before us and those living that have simultaneously fought to gain traditional and western knowledge. That quest has historically, and continues to this day, to bring challenges that extend beyond the classroom for our Brothertown youth, as it has for other American Indians. As a Tribe, we acknowledge the effort you have put forth to achieve this significant goal and we honor your accomplishment. BE PROUD!”
Congratulations and best wishes to our graduates, from all the members of The Brothertown Indian Nation family!
Class of 2022
*We know this list is far from complete, if you know a Brothertown graduate we have missed, please send photo and information to be included …here…
If you have attended Tribal events and have photos we are asking members to please feel free to send them to the Website committee here…
These photos are invaluable to show the engagement and inclusiveness of the Brothertown Nation today. This will help in our attempt highlight our Tribe to visitors to our site in the restoration process.
Examples of current galleries we have put up include:
Calling for all 2022 Brothertown Indian Nation Graduates – please let us know as we are preparing our annual honor of all our Youth celebrating milestones in their educational accomplishments.
Remember, there was a time when our people could not obtain even a basic education or consider going on to a college education and so we do not take it lightly. The Tribe is proud of each and every one of you!
Please include a digital color Photo (and additional information: School, Town, State, Degree, et) and email here...