The Sanctuary for Independent Media honors the voices of indigenous youth on the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail, dedicated to celebrating the sacred Mohican soils we are honored to tend.
Stockbridge-Munsee Youth Leadership and Radio Workshop
Stockbridge-Munsee youth journeyed from their homes on the Reservation in Bowler, Wisconsin, for a week of natural wonders with Flying Deer Nature Center’s summer camp, in the summer of 2023. They completed their visit to the Northeast to discover and walk on the land of their ancestors at Freedom Square in North Troy, located on settler lands of the village of Unawhat’s Castle. There, they shared in a public eve with Shawn Stevens in songs, games and Native education. Afterwards, the youth had a radio workshop — check out their interviews!
After their Hudson Mohawk Magazine Radio Workshop, the youth took boat rides on the Mahicanituck (Hudson River), connecting on the river where their ancestors lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years before being forcibly removed from their ancestral lands.
Stockbridge-Munsee Youth Boat Rides on the Mahicanituck
Special thanks to Scott Kellogg, who brought his solar boat up the Hudson from Radix in Albany to give them a ride to a close-by island! And, to Dick Sleeper, who took them on a boat ride that went through the Lock 2 of the Erie Canal at Waterford!
Gracie Spencer, Water Justice Lab 2023
Gracie Spencer (Water Justice Lab year 4) is visiting her ancestral homelands as a part of the Alliance for a Viable Future Ancestral Healing Fellowship with her mother, Wanonah. In addition to Water Justice Lab, Gracie is also working with Flying Deer Nature Center to counsel visiting Mohican youth. For their six month fellowship, Gracie and Wanonah are living in Richmond, Massachusetts and spending time throughout Mohican lands, from current-day Troy and the Capital Region to the Berkshires. They are visiting from current-day Green Bay, Wisconsin, and are members of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. In addition to learning more about water through work with the Water Justice Lab, Gracie enjoys taking photos and looking at art. She’s eager to get out in the field and learn and share her knowledge!
Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail project:
The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail is dedicated to celebrating the sacred Mohican soils we are honored to tend. We are beneficiaries of millennia of human history unfolding in a majestic river valley, where the land has been nurtured by Indigenous hands and traumatized through industrial development and systemic inequity.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe are in partnership on this project, which features Stockbridge-Munsee as well as other Indigenous artists and musicians, historians and storytellers, eco-artists, and muralists, connecting Indigenous wisdom to visions for a future of healing and reparations.
“We understand that one goal of the Eco-Art Trail is to continue to bring our stories to life. Embedding our history and culture into a publicly accessible and self-guided trail will make it possible for our words and ways of being to connect with a wider audience.“Shannon Halsey, Tribal President, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians