Schaghticoke First Nations Newsletter

Review of recent events and notice of upcoming events

By: Tribal Secretary, Kristin Stinavage

Maple Syrup Tale

By: Wolf-Walker Conley
As we begin our long journey to Spring the old ones say that we walk the trail of winter (“ne’ pum mean wah pabouksmayi”).  Many cold winters are spent waiting for the return of Spring and the rebirth of our world.  Just thinking of Spring brings the earthy smell of maple sap being boiled down to mind.  Maple sugar has been produced for thousands of years in what is now North America. 
With winter being a time of story telling in many native cultures, I thought it would be fitting to re-tell an ancient tale of the origins of maple sugar and syrup.  As with many of the Algonquin tales, the main character is Nanahboozhoo, son of the West Wind.
Nanahboozhoo was a great prankster, nothing pleased him more then teasing and joking with people. Many folk became extremely angry with him because of his never-ending harassment.  But there was little they could do. He was clever and fast, so they plotted on taking their revenge out on his much beloved grandmother for she was old and slow. Grandmother Nokomis lived near a great forest of maple trees and Nanahboozhoo thought this a good hiding spot to take her after hearing of this plot. He gently carried her into the beautiful forest which was in full autumn color. The bright orange, yellow and crimson leaves reminded Nanahboozhoo of a blazing fire they were so brilliant.
Those seeking grandmother soon came, following the tracks of Nanahboozhoo. They came to the great forest she hid within.
As they approached, the sun was high over head, lighting the autumn leaves with a beautiful glow. The fiery blaze of Fall leaves took The pursuers by surprise. They became alarmed, fearing that a huge forest fire had been set by Nanahboozhoo. They fled never to be seen again. Nanahboozhoo was pleased and built his grandmother a new home amongst the large maple trees. They lived peacefully until one cold Winter day several men approached their snug Weju asking for help.  The new comers complained of their poor diet of dried meat and how they missed the sweetness of summers’ berries. Nanahboozhoo listened to their talk of sweet berries and so did Grandmother. She spoke up, saying she too wished for the sweet taste of Summers’ berries.
 Being a good grandson, Nanahboozhoo asked the great maple trees towering over head for help. The trees told him their sap could be collected in early Spring, small holes bored in their trunks would allow the sap to be collected in Birch bark buckets, and large troughs made from hollowed out logs could hold the sap for cooking. Many Hot stones added to the syrup would boil it down and once cooled, sweet maple sugar would be left. Nanahboozhoo told the people of this and they dutifully followed the instructions that Spring. They enjoyed the maple sugar so much that every spring since, when the frost gives up its fight and the young plants of spring start to appear you can witness the collection buckets and smell the sweet pungent aroma of maple sugaring throughout the great forest of the  cold north. All being done the way Nanahboozhoo had instructed so many years ago.

Beyond the 7th Fire Conversations on
Radio Kingston with
Sachem HawkStorm

Sherri was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek). She has been actively involved with Indigenous rights and environmental justice work for more than 25 years, receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona. She has worked in many capacities helping to highlight and advance the position of Wabanaki peoples. She speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. Her broad base of knowledge allows her to synthesize many subjects into a cohesive whole, weaving together a multitude of complex issues and articulating them in a way that both satisfies the mind and heals the heart.

Sherri is also the visionary behind “Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island,” a global healing ceremony that has brought people together from all corners of the world.

Check out her book, Sacred Instructions:

Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan Chief Vincent Mann. Speaking on Tribal Recognition in New Jersey and a recent development for 3 Tribes, some things going on in his life, the work that he is involved with as well as some of the things he envisions for the future of his people.


Brother Mikey is on the show this week, a singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida. Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and raised in Bronx, NY.

"Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but it is only recently that I discovered the healing power it carries. Music is leading me back to my indigenous Taino roots and back to Mother Earth."

Influenced by awakened artists, like NahkoTrevor Hall, and more.

"To be a part of someones healing...that is the ultimate adventure!" - Brother Mikey


 Daryl Jamieson Black Eagle. A veteran of the United States Air Force & Massachusetts Army National Guard, member of the Eastern Medicine Singers, co-founder of the New England Native American Cultural Week and Council Chief of Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe of Pokanoket Nation Wattupa Reservation – there is a lot covered in this episode!

Here is a song with Eastern Medicine Singers: Yonatan Gat: Medicine (feat. Easter Medicine Singers)

This is a talk with a new friend of ours John Gourley, lead singer for Portugal. The Man.

They are on a mission for truth and using their platform for good. What they did bringing the Indigenous Peoples to the forefront of their tour, learning about the issues we as Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and around the world are facing, as well as, the beautiful diversity of our culture was Evolutionary. I've had the opportunity to speak with John about some of this at length and can't wait to share this great conversation.

This is a conversation with our friend Ch'eedaih Zhee Kaii or Samuel Johns.

A father, a community doer & a hip-hop artist known as AK REBEL, Samuel grew up in Copper Center, Alaska; its original name is Kluti-kaah. His dad is from Copper Center and his mom is from Arctic Village. Samuel also runs a Facebook group called Forget Me Not that helps reconnect the homeless community to resources, family & culture.

Terry A. Sloan is a Navajo and Hopi Native American from Tuba City, Arizona born in Shiprock, New Mexico, he is born to the Kinyaa’áanii - Towering House Clan and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii - Water-Flows-Together Clan and a hereditary descendant of Hopi Chief Loloma.

Mr. Sloan is the Director of his NGO Southwest Native Cultures, where he is an accredited member of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, as an Indigenous Peoples Organization since May 2011. Through SWNC, Mr. Sloan is actively consulting and advocating for Indigenous Peoples Rights, Human Rights, the Environment, Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Environmental, Social and Economic issues.


Pua Case (Pualani) was born and raised on the Island of Hawai’i surrounded by the high mountains of Mauna Kea Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Kohala, the fresh waters of Kohakohau and Waikoloa and the plains of Waimea. Pua’s life path and purpose has led her to become a Kumu Hula, a teacher of traditional dance and chant, and a teacher of the ways, culture, and traditions of the kanaka maoli or native peoples of Hawai’i. With a degree in Hawaiian Language and culture and a teaching degree in Social Studies, interwoven with the traditional teachings, philosophies, and expectations from her kupuna or elders, Pua has integrated ‘Ike Hawai’i or Hawaiian knowledge and lessons into the public school system for over 30 years. 

Pua sits on various educational and cultural boards and heads MKEA, Mauna Kea Education and Awareness. Pua and her family are petitioners in the Contested Case hearing filed on behalf of Mauna Kea Mountain. She has stood on the front lines in North Dakota at Standing Rock and Sacred Stone Camps with fellow Mauna Kea Protectors in support of the Native Americans stance on keeping pipelines out of their rivers. For five years, Pua and her daughter, singer Hāwane Rios have been a part of Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations in New York City. This work is one of commitment, dedication, passion and a mission to weave the relationships and strengthen the alliances with peoples everywhere for the highest good of the earth.


Beyond traveling and teaching internationally, sometimes in collaboration with the Indigenous Grandmothers of the Sacred WE, she is working with Minnesota State Representative Mary Kunesh-Posen and Senator Patricia Torres Ray, authors of the “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Bill.” The national issue of missing and murdered indigenous women is the main topic of today’s conversation.

Check out her book: Wisdom Lessons…/…/0986198099

A very close friend and mentor of Sachem HawkStorm, Roberto Mukaro Borrero is a member and a leader of the Guainia Taino Tribe and the President of the United Confederation of Taino People. Topics of conversation will include Roberto's most recent work as a part of organizing the Indigenous Peoples March in DC and his work within local and international Indigenous communities.

Forging Reparative Partnerships With First Nations Peoples

Acknowledging that the land, as well as many of the practices that we draw from in our programming, have been forcefully taken from First Nations peoples, many at Wild Earth are engaging in conversation about restorative, reparative practices.

A first step toward acknowledging and beginning to work to repair past and current injustice, Wild Earth now offers First Nations peoples free tuition in some of our adult skill workshops.

Last winter, Wild Earth extended an invitation to Chief Vincent Mann of the Ramapough Tribe, inviting two members of the tribe to join us for a two-day Pack Basketry workshop.

This winter, we extended a similar invitation to Sachem HawkStorm for Schaghticoke First Nations peoples to make pack baskets.

After the workshop, Sachem HawkStorm shared his reflection on the experience:

“Basket making has been a tradition for hundreds if not thousands of years in my tribe and my family.

Since 1736 and the establishment of our Reservation, this became way more than just a tradition. Making baskets became a way of survival. As many know, as happens with so many Nations across Turtle Island, we couldn’t get jobs off rez, cut off from our farming, fishing and hunting grounds. Making baskets became a way for us to feed our people.

My grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles would make these baskets and walk many miles selling and mending their baskets. In return they would collect food scraps and bring these back to the Reservation.

Now I’ve gotten to see so many of these beautiful baskets in museums and Historical collections across the country. But since the burning of our houses and forced removal from our reservation, this is a tradition that has been all but lost.

This is one of the many important teachings we will be bringing back with our Cultural Center.”

Wild Earth’s hope is to serve as allies to First Nations peoples, supporting our friends in relearning traditional skills we may offer so they can continue to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

“[Wild Earth] understands that making baskets is more than a side hobby for SFN, it is our culture and tradition. [Wild Earth has] listed upcoming programs that they have, there are a couple spaces open in each for the Schaghticoke First Nations people at no charge.

This is a start of reparations between wilderness training schools and Indigenous people. Most of these Native teachings have been taken from us and Wild Earth wants to offer these programs to help us get our teachings back, so we can pass down our traditions to our future generations. We ultimately want to offer these types of programs at our cultural center, taught by us.”

Schaghticoke First Nations Newsletter

At Wild Earth, we are just beginning to understand our responsibility to support racial and gender equity, to address cultural appropriation, and to lead social justice initiatives throughout our organization. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our donors — your donations make our work possible.

Positive Masculinity at SUNY New Paltz

A room full of students, faculty, staff and community members came together for an evening of open-heart connection and conversations about masculinity. How the masculine energy has developed its negative charge, opening participants to how they have been affected by toxic masculinity, considering the rape culture on college campuses and elsewhere and taking a look at what is happening in our world at large. We took an emotional deep dive into ourselves and our stories while being held by people we have or have not met before. Hannah brought in Theatre of the Oppressed Image theatre work, utilizing group activities with 'Sculpting Images' & 'Dueling Images', where groups of people expressed words with their bodies and each other. The above photo is of the facilitators for this evening sculpting image of positive masculinity. Then Sachem HawkStorm wrapped up the night leading the group into story-telling, opening up the hearts and minds of this group. 


Food Forests

Imagine if Clean Foods were no longer an issue.


Leaving our forests alone is not the answer. Most of our forests are not old growth and do not have the diversity they once had to sustain themselves. We have a responsibility to repair the damage that we have caused through the mining and charcoal industries. We have wiped out the diversity that has sustained us for thousands of years. Scarcity of food and the lack of diversity in our forests have caused the loss of many animal species. Our regional climates are all completely affected by this too.


New York State alone is 63 percent forested -- forests cover 18.9 million acres of our 30 million total acres. Just Think if we used Indigenous Peoples Knowledge of Food Forest management in New York State. This would recover our environment for ourselves and all other living beings with: sustainable food sources, biodiversity, self sustainable ecosystems, strong sustainable animal diversity, more extreme climate resistant forestry systems, thriving bee population, nitrogen rich forest soil, natural water filtration systems, less erratic weather patterns and so much more.


Schaghticoke First Nations proposes a challenge. To all land based projects, work with us in leading a movement on the East Coast. Make a pledge to join us in this Indigenous Food Forest Project in our Territory.


It's time to be leaders down the Green path to a sustainable future for our next Generations. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for a Capitalism based Economy, to do the right thing.


SFN will be building a formal project Proposal soon. All interested parties please email us at


“Let's get back to what's important, think about our next 7 generations down the road, live with the land or lose it all”

Sachem Wushowunan Kesikbesek

Upcoming Events

18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2019

April 22 - May 3rd, 2019

United Nations Headquarters, NY

Theme: “Traditional knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection”

Panel & Discussion at The Watershed Center 

Please RSVP by emailing Brooke:

Panel & Discussion at the Old Dutch Church 
Kingston, NY

The Schaghticoke First Nations and Radio Kingston invite you to join us for a very special evening of stories, sharing, ceremony and connection with Great-Grandmother Mary Lyons (Ojibwe/First Nations) and Grandmother Doreen Bennett (Maori-Whanganui). The Water Protector Grandmothers will be in conversation with Sachem HawkStorm on the spirit of oneness, the connection between all living beings, the need to rise up and protect the sacred elements and all of life.

Grandmother Mary Lyons is a Water Carrier and Ojibwe Elder from Minnesota. Beyond traveling and teaching internationally, sometimes in collaboration with the Indigenous Grandmothers of the Sacred WE, she is working to bring justice for dozens of missing and murdered indigenous women in her region. She is the author of the Wisdom Lessons: Spirited Guidance from an Ojibwe Great-Grandmother. Grandmother Doreen of the Maori-Whanganui tribe, visits us all the way from Aotearoa, New Zealand. This past March the Whanganui succeeded in securing the rights for their sacred Whanganui River to be protected under laws extended to a person. Sachem HawkStorm is chief of the Schaghticoke First Nations of our region, tireless activist, and the host of Beyond the 7th Fire on Kingston Radio WKNY.

Schaghticoke First Nations:

Wisdom Lessons: Spirited Guidance from an Ojibwe Great-Grandmother:

Radio Kingston:

Tickets are on a sliding scale from $10 - $100

Your dollars will go back to supporting the communities represented in this panel & discussion, thank you for your support.

Decolonizing Our Hearts, Minds & Movements

August 18-23, 2019

Drawdown Learn Conference

What Schools & Communities Can Do About Climate Change

Oct 18 - Oct 20 2019 

Relational Uprising Upcoming Workshops

Relational Culture 2: Embodying

  • Thu, Jul 11, 20192:00 PM  Sun, Jul 14, 20194:00 PM
  • The Watershed Center

This module explores the intentional practice of unveiling and acknowledging our bodily, nonverbal, ecological worlds of experiences that emerge in deep relation, away from ideologies of social dominance, mastery and competition that attack and repress our bodies and the earth in our collaborative work. Through Somatic Touch, Somatic Play and Somatic Ceremony practice we learn to sustain our sensitivity to connection to each other and the ecology, counteract the culture of desensitization, and become resilient through the support of co-regulating relationships.

Relational Culture 3: Bridging

  • Thu, Sep 26, 20192:00 PM  Sun, Sep 29, 20194:00 PM
  • The Watershed Center

This module explores the intentional practice of unveiling and acknowledging the need to be influenced and changed by one another's and other communities’ diversities in sustained and complex ways to ensure equity in our collaborative work. Through Relational Inquiry & Resolution, Bridging Legacy & Destiny, and Story of Us Now practice we learn to sustain inclusion and access for all, and to maintain a collective commitment to a culture of resilience that counteracts the culture of dominance and exclusion.

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Schaghticoke First Nations · 4 Dineen Rd · Millbrook, NY 12545-5379 · USA

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