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While we are renting the building that we are in as part of the Village Commons, the land that we currently occupy is the sovereign land of the Pocumtuc and Nonotuk nations; this land has been savagely stolen by the European colonizers and the very least that we can do is understand the brutality of this occupation and understand that the Pocumtuc and Nonotuck nations, as well as people from the Wabanaki, Wampanoag, Mohegan, Abenaki, Mohican, Podunks, Tunxis, Pennacook, Nipmuc, Agawam, and Quinnipiac nations, all have resided and still do live in this area of Western Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley.
Much of this history is still not taught or common knowledge. Some of the books that we have on our shelves speak to this local history. We encourage every member of our community to learn about the original and current Indigenous inhabitants of the land where they reside. The impact of settler colonialism contributed to the displacement, removal, and genocide of Indigenous people throughout Turtle Island. Books on Indigenous peoples history and literature have expanded in recent decades and many of these titles are written by Indigenous writers and provide a more accurate portrayal of the past and present.
This land acknowledgment seeks to verbalize our commitment to engage in shared responsibility as part of our collective humanity. We urge everyone to participate in action steps identified by Indigenous community-based organizations such as nipmucnation.org.
Find some featured books in Native American/Indigenous studies as well as fiction and poetry here: Indigenous Studies Picks