Friday, November 22, 2013

The Beaver Moon Gathers Spirited Supporters in Turners Falls

 "If you look into the eyes of a young child, you're going to see the ancestors of the last seven generations looking back at you.  Seeing that, you need to understand that we are here today because of the prayers and the mindfulness and the choices and actions of the past seven generations.  If you then look away and look quickly back, you'll see the eyes of the yet unborn.  Seeing that, you'll be reminded that we need to be mindful, respectful and accountable to the next seven generations, that our prayers need to go out to them."
--- Joe Graveline, from his opening remarks at the Beaver Moon Gathering

Graveline and HIggiins Open Gathering (Photo by Skye Wellington)
As a group of bright eyed children gathered around Loril Moondream, a storyteller with Apache roots who operates Medicine Mammals a wildlife rehabilitation program in Wendell, you could hear drumming through the door to the Great Hall of the Discovery Center in Turners Falls.  The smell of freshly baked traditional foods and pastries filled the air along with the hum of spirited conversation.

On Saturday, November 16,  200 people from across the region came together to enjoy an array of Native American music, educational activities, food and crafts at the Beaver Moon Gathering organized by the Nolumbeka Project.  Beginning with the opening words and music of Nolumbeka Project President, Joe Graveline and Native American flute virtuoso Barry Higgins, the program included performances by Strong Oak and the Visioning B.E.A.R. Drum Singers, and the Medicine Mammal Singers.  As well as the two children's craft activities presented by MoonDream, Neill Bovaird of Wolf Tree Program demonstrated  stone tool making and firemaking to interested children and adults during the course of the day.  A number of vendors and exhibitors including French/Iroquis artist Neil Dargis and Seneca potter David Pinkham displayed their arts and information.

As well as presenting an exhibit of Native American 3 Sisters Gardening and sharing some of his own jewelry as raffle gifts, Nolumbeka Project's Howard Clark made available binders of information he had collected on the history of the controversy surrounding White Ash Swamp, the ten ace parcel in Greenfield that NP is seeking to protect.  (This information is now available at the Greenfield Public Library.)

Strong Oak and Visioning B.E.A.R. (Photo by John Furbish)
A raffle drawing for a number of beautiful gifts including a frame drum crafted by Strong Oak, and hand-crafted Native American jewelry was held as the day came to a close and the spirit of celebration drifted into the November air. 

(You will find many more photos of the event, artwork, raffle items etc., and a list of raffle winners and gifts on our Facebook Page)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nolumbeka Project on the Air!

Nolumbeka Project President Joe Graveline met with host Paul Richmond on WMCB's "Imagine" at on Wednesday, November 20 to speak about our efforts to protect the ancestors at White Ash Swamp and the other work of the Nolumbeka Project!

If you missed it, this show will be rebroadcast: 
Tuesday, November 21 at 1 AM  WMCB on the Web!
Sunday, November 24 at 7 PM on WMCB 107.9 Greenfield and WMCB on the Web!
Monday, November 25 at 7 AM  WMCB on the Web

Joe will also be a guest on WMCB's "The Singing Wilderness with Beth Adams" this week. The show, which features Native American issues and music airs live on Thursday, November 21 at Noon on 107.9 FM Greenfield and WMCB on the Web!

You you miss it, this show will be rebroadcast:
Friday, November 22 at 12 Midnight WMCB on the Web
Sunday, November 24 at 10 PM WMCB 107.9 Greenfield and WMCB on the Web
Monday, November 25 at 10 AM WMCB on the Web

Please help us get the word out by telling your friends, posting on Facebook, etc.    

Monday, November 18, 2013

Native American Burial Ground Ordinance Discussion Delayed

Although passed by a majority of the Appointments and Ordinance Committee on November 4, the  Greenfield Town Council will not be discussing or voting on the Native American Burial Protection Ordinance on Wednesday, November 20 as had been previously announced. 

See the article below (Nolumbeka Project's Effort to Protect White Ash Swamp Intensifies, Nolumbeka Now!, November 15) for more. 

A binder of documents on the history of this controversy compiled by Nolumbeka Project Clerk and Senior Researcher/Anthropologist Howard Clark is available at the Greenfield Public Library.

Stay tuned here or the Nolumbeka Project Facebook Page for the latest developments in our effort to protect White Ash Swamp.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nolumbeka Project's Effort to Protect White Ash Swamp Intensifies

 “Lets lose the fear over this conversation and embrace 
a future where all are welcomed and respected.”
---Joe Graveline, President, Nolumbeka Project 

At the Greenfield Town Council meeting on November 20, Nolumbeka Project continues its effort to permanently protect the 10 acres of White Ash Swamp.  This site, where remains of Native American residents of the ancient village of Wissatinnewag were dumped in 1964, is currently suggested for a conservation restriction supervised by the Town of Greenfield, but this protection would not be adequate -- or permanent.

In October, hoping for improved protections, Nolumbeka Project's Clerk and Senior Researcher/Anthropologist Howard Clark approached Greenfield's Appointments and Ordinances Committee with documents tracing the history of the issue.

In what Clark characterized as "a good start", a majority of the Committee voted November 4 to recommend passage of a draft ordinance that asserts that such re-burial sites in Greenfield would receive all "treatments and protections" as accorded to Native American burial sites under state and federal law.  Clark hopes that Greenfield’s effort may even lead the way in strengthening relevant Massachusetts law.

Although Greenfield mayor William Martin has said that the ordinance could impede desired development and implied that it might be used to “stall or kill” the arrival of a big box store adjacent to the White Ash Swamp, Clark and Nolumbeka President Joe Graveline maintain otherwise.    

Graveline says, “I have worked on many very large projects over the years as a tribal field monitor during and beyond the archaeological phases of those projects, and I can report…that multi-million-dollar projects and respect for tribal cultural resources and spiritual beliefs can happen all at the same time.”  (See “My Turn” in Greenfield Recorder.)

Nolumbeka Project hopes to continue this important effort at the November 20 meeting of the Greenfield Town Council at 7 p.m. at GCTV, 393 Main Street, 3rd floor.  Your attendance and support will be appreciated.

For those interested in learning more, Howard Clark has assembled a wealth of information which is now available to the public at the Greenfield Public Library.  He also traced the recent history of the controversy surrounding the protection of the property in the Greenfield Recorder. (See My Turn: "Too Many Broken Promises", November 20)

Please contact Nolumbeka Project with any questions and comments.