New Hampshire’s historic narratives often leave contemporary audiences with the impression that this area was sparsely inhabited before European colonials’ arrival, and that N’dakinna’s (our land’s) Indigenous inhabitants have since disappeared. Although Indigenous peoples have suffered profound injustices from initial European contact until now, Indigenous heritage prevails. Indigenous peoples continue to be an integral part of the New Hampshire’s daily life.
Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective is a collaboration among multiple co-conspirators, including local Tribal leaders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at the University of New Hampshire, community activists and volunteers, Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and filmmakers, various researchers and high-school students. Our work rests on three pedagogical pillars: (1) Public Education; (2) Social Activism; and (3) Local Focus. We see these pillars as mutually informative and integral to a long-term sustainable change in our state.
This long-term collaboration intends to reframe New Hampshire’s history from an Indigenous perspective. This living project adapts, evolves, and expands as does our knowledge about Indigenous 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. So far, NH residents, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are being poorly served by public education that fail 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 the collaborative work, we aim to build an enduring a relationship between non-Indigenous and local Indigenous communities in the Granite State.
We believe that our fragmented communities and human and non-human environment need shared stories. Local Indigenous communities need shared stories to grow, persist, and flourish. Our larger State’s community, including Indigenous peoples, descendants of settler colonials, descendents of the former enslaved peoples, and recent immigrants, needs shared stories to grow, persist, and flourish as well. Our land and waterways need to tell stories that would help our communities to see themselves as a part of nature and not apart from it. This project’s goal is to contribute to such stories!
Funding for the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective was provided in 2019 by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.