Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nolumbeka Project
Preserving a 12,000 Year Legacy of 
Connection and Sustainability.
∞  ∞  Honoring the Past ∞ ∞ ∞ Healing the Present ∞  ∞ ∞ Celebrating the Future ∞ ∞ 
Narragansett Medicine Man Lloyd "Running Wolf" Wilcox and Montague Town Administrator Frank Abbondonzio at Reconciliation Ceremony, Turners Falls, MA in 2004.

 The Nolumbeka Project is dedicated to the preservation of the history and cultural heritage of the Native Americans of New England through historical research, sacred site and land stewardship, Native American gardening and heritage seed preservation, public advocacy, educational programs, and cultural events.  We believe the Native American Legacy of Connection and Sustainability is crucial to the planet at this point in history.

YOU can help us make a difference!


"What part of Sacred don't you understand?" -- Klee Benally, Navajo activist

The Nolumbeka Project stewards the last undeveloped piece of an ancient Native American village, Wissatinnewag. Located on the banks of the Connecticut River at the Great Falls, "Shining Hill" was a peace village where Native Americans of the northeast gathered seasonally to share Nature’s bounty.

This year, with the help of dedicated volunteers,  we enhanced the Wissatinnewag site by cultivating sweet grass, ceremonial tobacco, and three sisters gardens;  clearing trails, making inventories of native plants and removing some invasive species.  We also guided educational tours of the property.

In addition, we continue to seek support in our efforts to preserve a Native American re-burial site at White Ash Swamp in Greenfield, MA.  Under the threat of big box development, Nolumbeka Project is working to ensure that these reburials are permanently protected.

At this time, we are also holding conversations about acquiring other significant properties in our region for preservation and protection.


"If we open our minds to this broader body of information, ... we come to see that the history taught to us in school presented a tragically distorted and incomplete account."
 --  Howard Clark, Senior Researcher/Anthropologist, Nolumbeka Project

Moving into a new office in 2014, The Nolumbeka Project continues to build a unique archival research library to depict a more accurate picture of the history of our region.  We continue the process of digitizing the information to make it more widely accessible


"In the spirit of peace, healing and understanding we come together on this date of May 19, 2004, to acknowledge the tragic events that took place on the shores of this river on May 19, 1676, and 
 thereby begin to put the tragic echoes of the past to rest" 
-- Reconciliation Ceremony, May 19, 2004

In addition to a variety of public talks, videos and other offerings, Nolumbeka Project presents three annual Gatherings at the Great Falls in Turners Falls, MA. Each provides an opportunity to honor, heal, and celebrate the contributions of New England's Native Americans through ceremonial, cultural and educational activities.

At the Great Falls Discovery Center in May, Nolumbeka Project continues its annual commemoration of the infamous massacre of May 19, 1676 with a respectful ceremony, music and other cultural offerings.

In August, with the assistance and co-sponsorship of Turners Falls RiverCulture, Nolumbeka Project presented the first Pocumtuck Homelands Festival drawing together Native American musicians, storytellers, artist and craftspersons for a day long clelebration at Unity Park, Turners Falls.

In November, Beaver Moon Gathering celebrates the Full Moon of this time of transition at the Great Falls Discovery Center.  Talks and other educational events are the centerpiece of this event.


"Let’s lose the fear over this conversation and embrace a future 
where all are welcomed and respected."
-- Nolumbeka Project President Joe Graveline My Turn, Greenfield Recorder

Through public talks, educational offerings and public advocacy, Nolumbeka Project members continue to bring both a greater awareness of our tragic past, and of the vital importance of the cultural and spiritual values of New England's Native Americans to the world today.

In 2014, Nolumbeka Project and its members initiated and successfully secured a Native American Burial Ordinance in Greenfield, MA and the awarding of a National Park Battlefield Preservation Grant to Montague, MA which will for the first time gather and present the Native American perspective on the tragic events that occurred in our region during the colonial expansion our region's history.

In addition Nolumbeka Project and its members continue to advocate for a respectful solution to the tragedy of White Ash Swamp, and are involved in other efforts to honor, heal, and celebrate the contributions of New England's Native Americans to this planet and all of its myriad beings.