Indigenous Communities of Connecticut: An Introduction to their Histories and Cultures

Saturday, November 5
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Location: Burroughs-Saden

Eastern North America was not a “howling wilderness” as described by the early English settlers.  It was a built landscape, managed by the first settlers of the land, its Indigenous peoples. Indigenous communities have long, rich histories that extend back to when they shared Mother Earth with mastodons and other extinct animals.  Through those thousands of years, Native Americans became experts in their natural environments, a necessity for their physical survival as well as their spiritual obligation. Our first environmental stewards, Native American communities had long been managing their physical environments to enhance plant and animal populations as well as their human communities. Indigenous folklore and sacred stories promoted this ecological balance. This presentation provides a window into tribal history and culture before and after European settlement.

Speaker Lucianne Lavin, Ph.D. is Director of Research & Collections Emeritus of the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut and Director of American Cultural Specialists, LLC.  She holds an MA and Ph.D. in anthropology with a focus on Native American communities in Southern New England. In 2013 she published the book Connecticut’s Indigenous peoples; What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions teach us about their Communites and Cultures (Yale University Press 2013) and recently published the edited volume Dutch and Indigenous Communities in Seventeenth-Century Northeastern North America: What Archaeology, History, and Indigenous Oral Traditions Teach Us about Their Intercultural Relationships (SUNY Press 2021).