Who We Are and Our History:
We are a team of co-conspirators, including local Tribal leaders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at the University of New Hampshire, local community activists and volunteers, local artists and filmmakers, various researchers, and high school students. INHCC began as a small collaboration between the Cowasuck Band of the Abenaki-Pennacook Tribal Leaders, UNH faculty and undergraduate students (hence the logo, Bezoak, which means “wildcats” in Abenaki). The project was launched in 2016 by two Tribal leaders, a UNH professor, and one undergraduate student. We have grown since that time and now our co-conspirators include people with a wide range of backgrounds and professional and personal lives. Our current team includes (but is not limited to):
- Denise and Paul Pouliot: Denise is the Sag8moskwa (Head Female Speaker) and Paul is the Sag8mo (Head Male Speaker/Grand Chief) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People that is headquartered in Alton, NH. In addition to their Tribal responsibilities, they serve the greater community on several state and regional alliances that deal with race, equality, food insecurity, sustainability, education, climate change, social services, and justice related to marginalized and BIPOC communities.
- Svetlana Peshkova: Lana is a mother, educator, and a coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor at UNH (2019-2021). She is one of the founders of INHCC along with the Pouliots.
- Alexandra Martin: Alix is a Faculty Fellow in the UNH Anthropology Department where she teaches classes about archaeology and Indigenous heritage. Alix is also the Archaeologist at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, and is the co-founder of Ceremonial Landscapes Research, a surveying and consulting company.
- Anne Jennison: Anne is a traditional Native American storyteller of European and Abenaki heritage, an historian, an educator, a museum interpreter, mother, and grandmother.
- Kathleen Blake: Kathleen is an alumna of the University of New Hampshire and of Plymouth State University. She is an indigenous mother and grandmother as well as a retired environmental and biological sciences teacher and school administrator. She is devoted to supporting our indigenous citizens with her voluntary service in several organizations.
- Stacey Purslow: Stacey is the coordinator of the NH Farm to School program located at the Sustainability Institute at UNH. Stacey also actively participates in the NH Food Alliance, Seacoast Permaculture, and Rochester Listens.
- Emily Olivier: Emily recently completed a Master’s in Elementary Education at UNH. Emily has worked on French language studies, community engagement projects and has lived in Durham, NH her whole life!
- Libby Schwaner: Libby recently completed a graduate degree at UNH studying public policy and is a life-long New Hampshire resident.
- Hunter Stetz: Hunter is a field technician for Montrose Air Quality Services in Newburyport, MA, but has many years of professional archaeology experience under his belt. After receiving his BA in Archaeology from Boston University, he returned to his NH roots to contribute to the communities and histories with which he has the deepest personal connections. Hunter is also a trustee for the Hampton Falls Historical Society and volunteers with the Seacoast Science Center in Rye.
- Katharine Duderstadt: Kathy is currently a researcher and educator in atmospheric and space sciences in the Earth Systems Research Center at UNH.
- Dylan Kelly: Dylan is a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program at UNH studying surface climate impacts from historical forest management practices.
- Catherine Stewart: Catherine is a theatremaker and filmmaker.
- Emmanuelle Brindamour: Em is a student at Yale University. As a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, she started the school’s first reconciliation initiative.
- Devon Chaffee: Devon is the Executive Director of ACLU of New Hampshire.
- Ann Podlipny: Ann is a retired Chester, NH resident working toward the town’s celebration of Indigenous People’s Day.
- Haley Swartz: Haley is a writing, media, and communication educator and researcher who studies verbal, visual, and digital rhetoric within systems of oppression.
- Janet Perkins-Howland: Janet is an OB/GYN in Dover who is working to decrease disparities in quality of care and health outcomes for BIPOC individuals, as well as proposing a plan for reparations for the town of Durham.
- Beth Draper: Beth is a mother, grandmother, wife, creative content collaborator, herbalist, wild foods enthusiast, dancer, energy-worker and circle facilitator for individual healing and healing within community.
- Elaine Marhefka: Elaine is a mother of two, a doctoral student studying curriculum theory, an outdoor science program coordinator, and an adjunct instructor with the UNH education department. Her interests involve broadening perspectives in elementary curriculum development through community-engagement with students, teachers, and community members.
Where We Are:
We are located in New Hampshire (United States). We hail from the state of New Hampshire, other states in the U.S., and other countries. We meet in person in Durham, NH and online every other week.
Why We Are (Our Mission):
New Hampshire’s historic narratives leave contemporary audiences the impression that this area of New England was sparsely inhabited before European colonialists’ arrival, and that the Indigenous inhabitants of N’dakinna (an Abenaki term for “Our Lands”) have disappeared. Although Indigenous peoples have suffered profound injustices from initial European contact until now, Indigenous heritage in this state prevails and Indigenous peoples continue to be an integral part of New Hampshire.
History, Writing, and Theory are important for Indigenous peoples. Our mission rests on three pedagogical pillars and praxis (putting our ideas in action): (1) Public Education; (2) Social Activism; and (3) Local Focus. These pillars are mutually informative and integral to a long-term sustainable change in our state: there is no public education without changing peoples’ knowledge about and views of local Indigenous heritage.
The website you are exploring is a gateway to a long-term project aiming to reframe New Hampshire’s history from an Indigenous perspective. This site is also a living document, which adapts and evolves as our knowledge expands about Indigenous heritage, including local history and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples’ to the well-being of the State. This project’s most important contribution is local community-building and sustainability. NH residents, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are being poorly served by public education that fails to represent or even acknowledge the state’s rich Indigenous heritage and contemporary life-ways, struggles, art, and various contributions of our Indigenous neighbors. Through collaborative work, we aim to not only highlight the contribution of the Indigenous Peoples to the Granite State but also build an enduring relationship between non-Indigenous and local Indigenous communities in NH.
We believe that our fragmented communities and our environment need shared stories that will become the ties that bind us together. Local Indigenous communities need shared stories to grow, persist, and flourish. These stories are also important to our larger Granite State community, including Indigenous peoples, descendants of settler colonizers, descendants of the formerly enslaved peoples, and recent immigrants. Our land and waterways need stories that help our communities to see themselves as a part of the surrounding natural world and not apart from it. This project’s goal is to contribute to such stories!
When we launched this project in 2016, we first focused on decolonizing trails and the map of New Hampshire as an ArcGIS Story Map. Currently, in 2021, INHCC works on a variety of projects that target public education and social activism and have direct local relevance. These projects include:
- creation and dissemination of digital, printed, audio and video educational resources (see our Educational Resources, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter);
- critical review of local histories (see our blog posts) and presentation of Indigenous cartography (see our Story Map);
- production of podcasts, short videos, and documentaries (see our YouTube Channel);
- recognition of the significance of Indigenous heritage through Land Acknowledgment statement materials and various public events; and
- creating educational resources and working with local educational institutions (e.g., the Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor at UNH, NH Social Studies Council).
How to Join Us
- Please follow this website and our Social Media pages for updates: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter; Indigenous NH 101 Podcast; Indigenous New Hampshire YouTube Page
- Some of the questions that you might have are answered on the FAQ page of our website.
- If you are willing and able to dedicate your time and effort and commit to contributing to the project on a regular basis, please email us! You do not have to be Indigenous and you don’t have to be affiliated with UNH, you just have to be passionate about social justice.
We are a grass-roots community!
Funding for the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective was provided in 2019 by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and in 2019-2021 by the Engaged Humanities Fellowship (Center for the Humanities at UNH).