| | Advanced Search

 

Catch Disney on Ice With Your WOO Card—The best places to use your WOO Card…

Paul Giorgio: Mr. Baker, MA Doesn’t Want a Liar for Governor—MA voters deserve a governor that will tell…

Patriots 2014 Schedule Set—The 2014 New England Patriots schedule has officially…

Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Timothy Conley—Political Science major and track star

Organize + Energize: 4 Ways Getting Organized Will Save You Money—Stop wasting time and money

Patriots’ Day Patriots Primer—In Foxboro, the New England Patriots will begin…

Monfredo: Former Worcester Public School Member Publishes Book—A professional manual for students and professionals

QCC 50th, Celebrating Students: Ato Howard—A Biomedical Engineering student on the rise

MA Beauty Insider: Pedi Nation – Get the Best Pedicure Ever—A guide to finding a pristine pedi place

Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail—Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail

 
 

Nipmuc Nation…We Are Still Here!

Friday, January 24, 2014

 

Nipmunc history in Worcester predates written records.

Worcester’s first settlers would like people to know that they are still here and living their lives just like anyone else. As Nipmuc Chief Cheryll Toney Holley says with a laugh, “When I am asked where I hunt and gather food these days, I tell them Stop and Shop! Some of us are attuned to our ancestor’s traditions and some aren’t but we are all a vital part of the greater Worcester community.”

Nipmuc history predates any written records. The people the English referred to as Nipmuc, or “fresh water people” were Worcester’s first inhabitants. These first arrivals named the area Quinsigamond, which loosely translated means the pickerel fishing place. The principal settlement of the Nipmucs was on a Worcester hill called Pakachoag as well as Tataesset (Tatnuck), and Wigwam Hill (North Lake Avenue).

Contact with Europeans

As Europeans began to move into the areas inhabited by the Nipmuc people, 80% of the native population was killed by smallpox or other epidemics due to contact with these new settlers. It is estimated that there were 5,000 to 6,000 Nipmucs when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620. Further encroachments by the English upon Indian land increased hostilities between the Nipmuc and the English colonists.

In June of 1675, King Philips War began with the seizing of Plymouth from the Wampanoags. King Philip’s War devastated the region and much of the state with heavy losses on both sides. Most of the villages from Marlboro to Grafton were destroyed. The remaining Nipmuc tribes were killed or captured and forced onto reservations in the greater Worcester area. At its completion, less than 1,000 Native Americans remained.

Recent History

Nipmuc history did not end in the 17th century, however. The Nipmucs continued to live in the Worcester area. As time went on, more Nipmucs moved into towns in search of jobs and mates. Since serving in the wars had caused a shortage of Nipmuc men, women began to marry non-Natives, especially African-Americans in order to have children, continue the tribe and for economic survival, Nipmuc activities became centered on the Hassanamisco Reservation.

In the early 1920′s, the Cisco family at Hassanamisco became tribal leaders. They created Worcester’s Mohawk Club to develop tribal educational, cultural and social events. The Nipmuc Indian Chapter of Worcester was founded in the 1950′s to provide for the educational and cultural advancement of Nipmuc people, with the hope of beginning new chapters in other cities. In 1995, there was also an effort to unite tribal members under one banner, Nipmuc Nation, while still working on federal recognition. Despite the hardship and multiple setbacks, in January 2001, the state recognized tribe received a positive preliminary finding on federal acknowledgment but were finally denied recognition in 2004.

Started by Sarah CiscoeBrough in 1962, The Hassanamisco Indian Museum, located in Grafton, is the principal repository of Nipmuc history and culture today. “The mission of the Hassanamisco Indian Museum is to perpetuate the arts, crafts, and way of life of New England's Indigenous Peoples; preserve the culture and history of indigenous people, particularly that of the Nipmuc Indian; and preserve and protect the unique character of the historic structure known as the Homestead and the artifacts housed within.”

Present Day

The museum is currently seeking funds to continue the restoration of the original homestead on the property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During renovation, some exhibits are now housed at the tribal office at 25 Main Street in South Grafton, a mile from the reservation.

“We do a number of activities on the reservation, some are private and some are open to the public,” explains Chief Holley. “For anyone wanting to learn more about our culture, we have Strawberry Moons in June and July, a Powwow in July and we offer school programs. We are still here. We are your friends, neighbors and co-workers and we are still one community and one family. We want to make sure our culture is passed on through the coming generations. After all our story is part of all our history!”

For further information log on to the Nipmuc Nation Facebook page, or the Hassanamisco Indian Museum. Check out this past Monday’s Leading in Central Ma. interview with Nipmuc Chief Cheryll Toney Holley.

Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR. Susan Wagner PR and Best Rate of Climb have recently formed a strategic partnership to serve Massachusetts and beyond with offices in Worcester, Metrowest and Cape Cod. Together, Susan Wagner and Steven Jones-D’Agostino share their 60 years of combined experience to meet clients’ goals with integrity and creativity providing effective and measurable services. The partnership offers an extra pair of hands or an ongoing or one time basis. 

 

Related Slideshow: 14 To Watch in Central Mass in 2014

Prev Next

Joseph Cox

EcoTarium's Cox, who took the helm in 2012, is one to certainly watch in 2014.  If you don't know Joe, he helped raise over $26.5 million at his previous post at the Galisano Children's Museum in Florida – and broke attendance projections in the process.  If a track record of success is any indicator of a future one, expect to see amazing things at the Ecotarium.

Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, EcoTarium will soon house one of the most unique exhibits in the country.  A team of researchers led by Robert L. Ryan, professor of landscape architecture and regional planning at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, along with Worcester's Clark University and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, will integrate the science of urban systems into a new "City Science" exhibit.

Read More

Prev Next

Next City Manager

With Michael O'Brien's departure from the City Manager post he'd held since 2004 for the private sector, Ed Augustus got tapped from his Director of Communications post at Holy Cross to fill O'Brien's shoes – but for an interim basis only. The former McGovern staffer and State Senator will take the helm for nine months only, leaving the big question in 2014 as to who will be the next City Manager.

The next City Manager will have a myriad of issues to deal with, from economic development, to crime – a top issue as far as residents are concerned. Will the next City Manager address the fact that while more than 40 percent of Worcester's population is a minority, the City has more than 1,600 full- and part-time city employees and well over 80 percent of them are white. Will city government ever reflect the population of Worcester?

Read More

Prev Next

Michael Carter-Williams

The Hamilton native, who did a stint at Syracuse before declaring for the NBA draft this year, is already making an impact as a pro.

In February, GoLocal's John Barone broke the news that Hamilton native, and Syracuse Orange guard, Michael Carter-Williams would declare for the 2013 NBA draft after his sophomore season.

Carter-Williams, a 2011 McDonald’s All-American at St. Andrews in Rhode Island, was drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. He is currently having himself quite a rookie year, with 17.6 point and 7.8 assist per game averages.

Read More

Prev Next

Eric Dickson

Dr. Dickson, who was named President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care this past February, will no doubt continue to have an influential role in the community.

During his tenure to date, challenges have included financial and labor issues, but also oversight of major changes as well -- Dickson appointed a new president of UMass Memorial Medical Center, Patrick Muldoon, and embarked on closer collaboration with Baystate Health to improve quality, access, and affordability of care.

Read More

Prev Next

Brad Wyatt

Republican activist and Boylston school committee member Brad Wyatt will definitely be someone to watch in 2014, having just announced he's running for State Representative.

Wyatt is eyeing Hank Naughton's seat in the 12th Worcester District, as Naughton's now seeking the office of Attorney General. According to the Red Mass Group, the district, which includes Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, and Berlin is the 38th most Republican leaning district in the Commonwealth. Scott Brown took the 12th in 2010 63-36, and Charlie Baker got 51% to Deval Patrick's 40%. Could Wyatt see a similar success in 2014? Stay tuned.

Read More

Prev Next

Neema Hakim

The Holy Cross senior is no stranger to politics – both locally, and in Washington, DC, having worked as an intern in the Office of Communications at The White House (and before that both in the office of the Governor of Massachusetts and the Mayor of Worcester.)

As President and co-founder of the Worcester Student Government Association, Hakim told GoLocal's Susan Wagner, "Lately I have been describing myself as a pragmatist. I’m definitely a dreamer, but I believe the only way to get anything done is to make an honest assessment of where things stand and then go from there."

Read More

Prev Next

Medical Marijuana

Who will get medical marijuana licenses in Worcester County will be watched for certain in 2014.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health in November released the names the 100 applicants for potential medicinal marijuana dispensaries who made it through to Phase 2 of the state’s licensing process. Worcester was named by 10 different applicants, more than any other city. The county itself has 14 finalists for dispensaries, more than any other county than neighboring Middlesex, which has almost twice the population.

Read More

Prev Next

Future of the T&G

What will become of the Telegram and Gazette will no doubt be closely watched in 2014.

GoLocal's Dean Starkman wrote in November of the scenario, "The Telegram and Gazette, a wallflower among New England newspapers that has suffered years of benign neglect by distant owners, seemed poised for a revival, after John Henry scooped it up as part of his landmark deal to buy the Boston Globe. Now a month later, he’s putting it on the block."

The potential future of the paper that has a nearly 150-year presence in the city and circulation of roughly 75,000 was broken down by Starkman. One of the major question marks is if new ownership would be local, or a return to a New York parent company.

Read More

Prev Next

John Giangregorio

The quintessential power player in Worcester has been a tireless advocate for the Commonwealth's tourism and visitor industry – with clear focus on developing the Canal District and the Blackstone Valley.

Giangregorio sits on the boards of Preservation Worcester and the Worcester Convention and Visitor Bureau, and also serves on the steering committee of Citizens for Business and as representative for the Canal District on the Mayor's Small Business Roundtable.

Read More

Prev Next

Be Like Brit

The legacy of Britney Gengel, who perished in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while on a service trip with Lynn University, continues to move forward through the Be Like Brit orphanage.

What started as a project built in her memory is now home to 35 children, and employs more than 40 full-time employees. According to the Be Like Brit website, hundreds of American and Canadian college students and other volunteers visit or volunteer at Be Like Brit each year.

Read More

Prev Next

Joseph Corazzini

He might have gotten the nod earlier this year for his cool factor, but GoLocal is putting Corazzini on our list of people to watch because of his "kid" factor.

While we feature the business and political minds needed to move Worcester – and all of Central Mass – forward, we recognize that the future of the Commonwealth depends on the education, and development, of our youth.

Read More

Prev Next

Victoria Waterman

Waterman, the CEO of Girls, Inc., didn't always know she'd end up in the role of spearheading the 97-year-old organization in Worcester that allows girls the ability to participate in enrichment programs and get the tools, opportunities, and encouragement needed to grow.

A 20 year veteran of the mortgage banking industry, Waterman created "Divorce Mortgage Specialists" to help women in transition, before switching gears to head up Leading Women Massachusetts as President, providing cutting-edge leadership development solutions for women in organizations. Now, Waterman is setting her sights on the 100 year anniversary of Girls Inc. in 2016.

Read More

Prev Next

Central Rock Gym

Could 2014 be the year you start climbing to the top? If you haven't already been to a Central Rock Gym, watch out, because you could just catch the climbing bug.

Now in four locations in MA and CT, the gym offers climbing opportunities for all ages and abilities, and hosts climbing camps, regional, national  – and international  – competitions.

Read More

Prev Next

Lynette Paczkowski

Trial attorney Paczkowski is as busy out of the courtroom as she is in – sitting on the Community Legal Aid Access to Justice Campaign Leadership Committee and co-chair of the Young Lawyers' Division of the Worcester County Bar Association, Paczkowksi is also the founding member and President of the Young Professionals Women's Association.

With goals of serving as a platform for women to share their voice on issues relating to the region's vitality, connecting with women through social and educational events, and providing opportunities for self-enrichment, the YPWA's esteemed found was recently named a 2013 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Read More

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.




Write your comment...

You must be logged in to post comments.