A few weeks ago, I found an aluminum basket at a shop in Massena. In style, it mimics baskets that are traditionally made from black ash. Available information indicated it was made by someone who worked at Alcoa some years ago.
North Country Live, a series of live webinars created over the summer in order to offer insight into topics such as wellness, personal finance, and Adirondack history, will be returning this fall with a focus on Indigenous Voices of the Adirondacks. Through three online programs, the North Country Live Fall Series will bring to light the history and traditions of the Mohawk Tribe at Akwesasne, and the challenges they have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs are free, but require participants to register in advance at this link to receive an invitation to the session.
We Are All Related, a group art exhibit featuring the works of Mohawk artisans from the Akwesasne community, opened at The Wild Center on Saturday, October 20 and runs through the end of September 2019.
More than thirty artists from Akwesasne, in a variety of mediums, are featured. The exhibit was curated by David Kanietakeron Fadden, Jaclyn Hall, Sue Ellen Herne and Victoria Ransom. Artwork, which includes paintings, pottery, sculpture, beadwork, basketry and traditional clothing, is arranged by generational family to show the influence and reinforce the importance of the relationship among individual families, and the community.
Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, (ADKX) has announced the first Mohawk and Abenaki Art Market, set for August 25-26, from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Art Market is the joint effort of the museum in collaboration with the Akwesasne Cultural Center and the Abenaki Cultural Preservation Corporation. The 2018 Mohawk and Abenaki Art Market features master and emerging indigenous artists from the Mohawk communities of Akwesasne (located where Ontario, Quebec, and New York State intersect on the map) and Kahnawake (located adjacent to the city of Montreal). » Continue Reading.
The Tahawus Center in association with the Hollywood Theater, will present episodes from the new Mohawk Ironworkers documentary on Monday, August 7, 7 pm at the Hollywood Theater, 14232 Rt 9N, in Au Sable Forks.
This film celebrates the determination of the Mohawk ironworkers of Kahnawake, Akwesasne and Six Nations. Mohawk Ironworkers was produced by Paul M. Rickard, George Hargrave, and Au Sable Fork’s Margaret Horn, who interviewed many of the characters as researcher and associate producer. The series features a team of Indigenous directors including Jeff Dorn, Margaret Horn, Courtney Montour, Paul M. Rickard, and Michelle Smith.
During this event, four episodes will be introduced by Horn, one of the directors, and one whose family has been involved in the trade for several generations. » Continue Reading.
Writing in The Adirondack; or Life in the Woods (1849) Joel Tyler Headley remarked that Indian Point on Raquette Lake was so-named “because there was once an Indian settlement upon it”. But until recently, the idea of large, permanent Native American settlements within the Adirondacks has been discounted by scholars. Ongoing research however, suggests that may not be the case.
On thing we do know for sure is that Adirondack interior was a seasonal hunting ground for the Iroquoian and Algonquin-speaking communities and there is considerable evidence that the Raquette Lake area was used extensively by the Mohawk. » Continue Reading.
During the critical Battle of Oriskany in August 1777, Continental forces led by General Nicholas Herkimer defeated the British army under St. Leger in the heart of New York’s Mohawk Valley. It was a hard-won victory, but he and his troops prevented the British from splitting the colonies in two.
In The Battle of Oriskany and General Nicholas Herkimer: Revolution in the Mohawk Valley (History Press, 2013), Paul Boehlert presents a gripping account of the events before, during and after this critical battle.
Although they did not succeed in relieving the British siege of Fort Stanwix, Herkimer’s citizen-soldiers turned back the British and protected America’s northern flank from attack. Herkimer was mortally wounded, but his heroism and leadership firmly placed him in the pantheon of Revolutionary War heroes. » Continue Reading.
In January 2010, the Weekly Adirondack reported that the St. Regis Mohawk nation agreed to be a “consulting party” for the East Side Pumping Station project, a station to be built along the Moose River behind the American Legion building in Old Forge. The tribe was contacted because a member was buried in the proximity, on the opposite side of the river, about one hundred eighty years earlier. That person, Peter Waters (a.k.a. Drid), was shot fatally by Nathaniel Foster, Jr. on September 17, 1833 at a location known alternately as Murderer’s Point or Indian Point, where the channel from Old Forge meets First Lake.
Less than twenty years (1850) afterwards, the events preceding the shooting and its aftermath were described in great detail, including trial testimony, by Jeptha Simms in Trappers of New York, which remains the primary source for that part of John Brown’s Tract history today. While the events surrounding the shooting have become a part of history and folklore, influenced by changing attitudes about Foster and toward Native Americans, another parallel story can be told about the graves of these two men. The remains of the two men who were opposing forces when alive, shared unsettled treatment after their burial. » Continue Reading.
Recently I was asked to present a talk about the life and careers of Paul Schaefer, the 20th century Adirondack conservation coalition leader. The location for my talk was Niskayuna, where beginning in the late 1920s into the early 1980s Paul built and restored hundreds of homes, including his own, out of natural, recycled materials – stone, slate and timbers from old buildings then facing the wrecking ball. The host for the lecture was the Niskayuna Town Historian, fitting because Paul was also intensely interested by American history.
A healthy collection of American Heritage can be found on the shelves of his Adirondack cabin. During my talk I mentioned that Paul and his siblings, growing up after 1910, were constantly outside, and among their outdoor pursuits were days exploring for arrowheads and other implements of the Mohawk, a member of the Great League of the Haudenosaunee. I then described the outlines of Paul’s remarkably successful career defending and extending the wilderness of the Adirondacks, from its wild rivers, to its highest peaks and the wildlife rich valleys threatened from inundation by large dams. Some of this history is found in Paul’s first book, Defending the Wilderness (1989, Syracuse University Press). » Continue Reading.
As I was leaving St. Peter’s Chapel Friday, a white van with New Jersey plates pulled up. Nine young, smiling nuns filed out. They were dressed in the white and blue-striped saris of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s order. They opened an off-kilter screen door and entered the dusky chapel. I followed, conspicuously tall, pale and bareheaded at the end of the line. The sisters walked to the front of the church, knelt before a cross and sang “O What Could My Jesus Do More.” I listened for a minute then left them alone.
But until the nuns arrived I had the place to myself. The chapel occupies the second story of a red clapboard building housing a Native American exhibit on the first. I put $2 in the slot of a box and went to light a votive by a wooden statue of Kateri in buckskin and long loose braids. There were no matches, no holy church-candle smell; the votives were electric—push down on a plastic covering and a light clicks on. I knelt and realized that nothing from childhood religious instruction prepared me for what prayer to say before this most proximate yet entirely new kind of saint. » Continue Reading.
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