Schaghticoke First Nations Newsletter

Review of recent events and notice of upcoming events

By: Tribal Support, Kristin Stinavage

Bee Stinger Tale

By: Wolf-Walker Conley
Several years ago, I attended a tribal gathering. At this event I made fast friends with an old fellow that raises bees. He sells their nature sweet gold when in season and tends them when not, a natural rhythm of life. He reminded me of a tale I once heard as a child regarding bees and their stingers.
“Long ago people had the ability to speak with all creatures. The Creator saw this as a needed skill, so that all his children could co-exist in harmony. The great Creator would roam the earth, stopping to visit his various people to ensure life was good for them. The two-legged people asked the Creator one day for something that would sweeten their food. After much thought, the Creator formed the Bee and sent it down to the Mother Earth.
The Bee was unlike the bees we know today for it had no stinger and was friendly. The Bee found a huge hollow tree in which it could build a hive, make honey and feed its offspring. After building the hive, the people came to the Bee and asked for some of the sweet honey and the Bee gave each person a portion of their honey. The people greatly enjoyed the honey, devouring all that was given and then went back to the Bee for more. The Bee replied that they had no more to give until they could make more. The people became angry and they called upon Creator telling him of their plight and demanding the Bees produce more of the sweet golden liquid. The Creator was not accustom to others making demands of him, but he listened and to decided sent down the Flower People to help keep peace.    The Flower People spread flowers of every shape and size across the land, thus giving the Bees all the flowers they needed to create more honey without having to travel far. The Flower People’s beautiful flowers attracted the Bees with their bright blue, red, white, orange, purple and yellow blossoms. More Bees were created to help pollinate the great array of flowers. Their hive grew to be of immense proportions. The people could finally get their desired honey again. The Bees gladly gave most of the honey to the people leaving enough to feed their offspring and maintain the hive. The people devoured the honey that was given, but when it was gone demanded more. The Bees explained to them once again that they would have to wait for more to be made.
The people were angry and yelled at the Flower People to make more flowers, thinking that this would cause the Bees to be able to quickly make more honey. The Flower People told the people that they had made all the flowers they could and they were all pollinated. “You will have to wait until Spring.” The people became extremely upset, they went back to the bee's hive and tore into the hollow tree destroying the hive and killing most of the Bees. Their reward was but a small amount of honey the Bees had been saving to feed their young. The remaining Bees asked the Creator what to do. The Creator was angry with the people for destroying his creation, so he had the Flower People spread special briar plants to grow and instructed the Bees to eat the sharp needles of the briar plants.
The Bees did as the Creator instructed and the briars they ate turned into stingers on their bottoms. The following day the people returned demanding more honey. The Bees were threatened that the home would be destroyed again if they did not give the people the much desired honey. The Bees became enraged, recalled the senseless killing of their young the day before. The people suddenly heard a loud hum from deep inside the hollow tree and the air filled with swarming bees. The Bees attacked the people, stinging them until they were covered in welts and sent running.
Forever after that day, the two-legged people treated the Bees with respect, taking no more than they needed. Their greed became a lesson in respect and they were taught the importance of understanding the cycles of life must be honored.”

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Summaries

Indigenous People’s Traditional Knowledge Must Be Preserved, Valued Globally, Speakers Stress as Permanent Forum Opens Annual Session
April 22, 2019

"Traditional knowledge occupies a pivotal place in the range of actions needed to mitigate climate change, she continued, and transferring this information across generations is vital, as is harnessing the potential of youth.  Highlighting the importance of preserving languages, she pointed out that knowledge accumulated over thousands of years on medicine, meteorology, agriculture and other areas is at risk of forever disappearing.  In preparing for the great challenges ahead, she said efforts must include fostering a better understanding of traditional knowledge and finding ways to strengthen indigenous peoples’ voices within the United Nations." - MARÍA FERNANDA ESPINOSA (Ecuador), President of the General Assembly

To continue reading the whole summary...
Click the link below


Partnering with Custodians of Traditional Knowledge Key to Tackling Climate Change, Protecting Humanity, Speakers Stress as Permanent Forum Continues Session
April 23, 2019


Jean Whitehorse, representing the American Indian Movement, made an intervention saying that 70,000 Navajo Nation women had been sterilized, which is recognized by the Rome Statute as a crime against humanity.  Indigenous people are a natural part of creation.  “We are the givers of life,” she added, calling on the Forum to study the practice of sterilization of indigenous women.  These criminal medical procedures must stop immediately.  “We also seek an apology from the United States Government,” she stressed.


To continue reading the whole summary...

Click the link below


Indigenous Peoples Increasingly Criminalized, Harassed when Defending Rights, Land, Speakers Tell Permanent Forum, Urging Greater Access to Justice System
April 24, 2019

Janine Yazzie of the International Indian Treaty Council spotlighted the case of Leonard Peltier, Anishinaabe and Dakota, an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians who has been in federal prison since 1976, after a wrongful conviction for the deaths of two United States Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.  This case demonstrates how the United States courts and criminal justice system criminalizes dissent, she said.

To continue reading the whole summary...

Click the link below


Tribal Link Foundation:  
Project Access Capacity Building Training  Workshop for Indigenous Peoples Program

18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
23rd April, 2019

Project Access is presented by the Tribal Link Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples; UNDP’s Equator Initiative; Indigenous Peoples Rights Program, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University; UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Secretariat; and the US Human Rights Network

From the US Human Rights Network Blog:

Ahead of the Forum, Tai Pelli and Sachem Hawk Storm participated in Tribal Link Foundation’s 15th annual intensive 3-day intensive training program entitled Project Access Global Capacity Building Training Workshop for Indigenous Peoples. Project Access is a human rights-based training session that prepares its fellows to better engage the UNPFII and other international mechanisms. Roberto Borrero, USHRN’s International Mechanisms Director served as this year’s lead trainer.

Also, fellow members, Niria Alicia Garcia Torres, and Enedina Banks took part in the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women, a 2-week training sponsored by the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI) in partnership with Columbia University and the Secretariat of the UNPFII. The two programs held a joint “meet and greet” session on April 19 to connect the advocates prior to the Forum session. Following their respective training programs, all of the members advocated directly at the UNPFII, including drafting interventions to be presented from the floor, participated in side events and in other activities.


UNPFII Snapshots

Watch Media Zone Talk here: 

USHRN Panel at UNPFII 2019

Camp Cope Concert Land Acknowledgement

From Camp Cope: "Huge thank you to Sachem Hawkstorm for coming out to this show and welcoming us to play on the sacred land of the lenape peoples. We would like to acknowledge their people, their history, their culture and their lands and waters. We feel so grateful and privileged to be able to perform on this land. Thank you Sachem."

About Camp Cope: Australian alternative rock trio from MelbourneVictoria, Australia. Founded in 2015, the group consists of singer, songwriter and guitarist Georgia McDonald “Georgia Maq”, lead bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich, and drummer Sarah Thompson.

Check them out on Facebook -
NPR Tiny Desk Series:

Panel talks with Wisdom Keeper Doreen Bennett, GGM Mary Lyons & Sachem HawkStorm

At The Watershed Center, The Old Dutch Church in Kingston, NY & Omega Institute

(BIG Thank you to you all and Radio Kingston for your support!!)

Recording of Teardrops of Ancestral Knowledge at the Old Dutch Church

Click on the image or this link:

Talk & Teachings at New Fairfield Middle School with Wisdom Keeper Doreen Bennett, GGM Mary Lyons & Sachem HawkStorm

'Missing You' song premiere by Joanne Shenandoah & Missing Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day

Joanne Shenandoah, is Native America’s most celebrated musicians and peace advocate. She carries beauty in her soul and voice but also through her interactions with diverse communities. She provides strength and passion for the people that is found in the likes of iconic philosophers and wisdom-keepers. This song "Missing You" is an original song in honor of the MMIW movement (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) in the United States and Canada. The numbers reach in to the 20K range. The accompanying music video was created by Television, Radio and Film grading seniors, Peter Conway, Elijah Goodell and Sarah Rebetje as their Capstone at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and premiered on the MMIW awareness day of May 5, 2019.

Music video:

Speaking out against Cricket Valley Power Plant in Albany

Video of speakers in the War Room of the Capitol:

Relational Uprising Bonding 2019 Cohort with Schaghticoke Council Member, Baxter Clinton

This was the first #Bonding cohort of 2019! It was an extra special opening for the cohort with Wisdom Keeper Doreen Bennett, GGM Mary Lyons, Calfin (Mapuche from Chile), his mother and Sachem HawkStorm in the room and leading the ceremony. It was a powerful experience of #RelationalCulture co-created among inspiring relational leaders from Sunrise, IfNotNow, Cosecha, Schaghticoke First Nations, Extinction Rebellion, I Have a Future, Student Immigrant Movement, CYCLE, Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practitioners, SUNY New Paltz, Connecticut Students for a Dream, Equity Matters, Wild Earth. Special thanks to Desta Cantave, Justin Taff-Morales, Juan Reid, Mark Fairfield, and Sachem HawkStorm for all your amazing facilitating support and The Watershed Center for hosting! 

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

(All Photos are 'clickable' to bring you to the recorded conversation and listen if you like)

Nathan Phillips is a US Marine Corps veteran, an Omaha Native American political activist also known as Sky Man, and former Director of the Native Youth Alliance, a group aiming to uphold traditional culture and spiritual ways for future Native Americans.

In the late 1990s Nathan was working to create a foster care system run by American Indians for American Indian children to help them gain an appreciation for their heritage: "I don't want our children to think that prison is the only place for them to go."

Cliff Matias (Taino/ Kichwa) is the International President and Founder of Redrum Motorcycle Club. Redrum is an Indigenous, First Nations, Native American Based Motorcycle Club, founded in 2006 on the foundation of the Red Road with a focus on brotherhood, biking, community, respect, responsibility, fundraising and supporting family.

Cliff is also a Cultural Director of Redhawk Native American Arts Council. As well as, an artist, community activist and event organizer for over 25 years, including the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration in NYC and the Indigenous Peoples March in DC last year.

Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration, October 12-14, 2019, Harlem River Field, Randalls Island, NY

Red Hawk Council -

Redrum Motorcycle Club -

Sachem HawkStorm talks to  Joanne Shenandoah live from Syracuse University prior to a conversation about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Joanne also premiers her new song about MMIW called "Missing You".  Joanne's daughter Michelle and husband Doug George also join the conversation.

Joanne Shenandoah is one of “America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed Native American musicians of her time”, Associated Press.She is a Grammy Award winner (with 3 nominations), over 40 music awards (including 14 Native American Music awards – Hall of Fame Inductee) with music ranging from solo to full symphony and 22 recordings.

She is a humanitarian, working as a peace advocate, earth justice and has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world and has received multiple awards and praise for her work to promote universal peace and understanding.

Joanne is a direct descendent of the famed “Chief Shenandoah” was given a “Peace Medal” by George Washington and established Hamilton College, Clinton, NY (The Oneida Academy).


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 Ojibwe. 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.

Ghazali is indigenous to the Alifuru people of Maluku, an idealist and sees himself as an anteambulo that wants to inspire and empower Indigenous Peoples to do what inspires them so that we can change the world into one in which all Indigenous Peoples can survive and thrive. That is his vision, he might not see it become a reality, but he loves being a part of the process. Ghazali's experience is centered on the intersection of Human Rights and international politics within the United Nations, with a specific focus on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Robby has used his music, voice and presence to stand up internationally for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the preservation of Mother Earth and the celebration of all of her children. His efforts, dedication and passion have led Robby to be honored and supported around the world by an array of people, including Indigenous leaders and politicians, fellow artists and activists, celebrities, friends and fans of all walks of life. Robby offers a profound voice of appreciation and action, weaving the timeless wisdom of Indigenous Peoples into the unfolding fabric of the future.

Robby’s groundbreaking alter-native music has taken him from the heart of Indian Country to the main street of the world with commercial success and critical acclaim.


Robby’s groundbreaking alter-native music has taken him from the heart of Indian Country to the main street of the world with commercial success and critical acclaim. His music pictures broadcast on MTV and VH1 introduced Native Rock Music to the music television generation. Robby has performed with multi-platinum artists, from Bonnie Raitt to Carlos Santana and has shared the stage with musical legends including Stevie Wonder and Yusuf / Cat Stevens. His journey has included concerts, events, and rally's with such dignitaries as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and World Leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013), Evo Morales, and Shimon Peres.

Victories against Gas Infrastructure

(And then let's do better about fighting the Cricket Valley Power Plant)

The Cayuga Power Plant and the Williams Pipeline
"Real Cayuga Power" Artwork by Annie Campbell

Mothers Out Front just achieved our first BIG victory against gas expansion in NY when we learned this week that the plan to convert the Cayuga Power Plant from coal to gas has been abandoned in favor of a new plan to build a data center and solar farm and battery storage!


Current Campaigns:

Marcellus Region Campaign -  MA, NH, NY, OH & VA

Cayuga Power Plant - Finger Lakes

Cricket Valley Energy Center - Hudson Valley

Danskammer Power Plant - Hudson Valley

Sheridan Hollow - Albany

Cuomo Walk The Talk - Statewide

Video here: 

Read more about how we built this campaign here:

Fight MORE gas expansion. Watch and share this video about our regional gas campaign

Williams Pipeline Victory

At a rally with allies and Mothers Out Front New York, with guest speaker Aaron Mair, former president of the Sierra Club, protesters pushed for National Grid to stop expanding natural gas pipelines:

The protestors are urging National Grid to back off plans to build or expand natural gas pipelines across the state. In addition to the proposed E-37 project in Albany County, the utility company involved with a plan that would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New York City....

"It is doing a lot of bad things to our Earth and we are kind of destroying it and this is our shot, we don’t have many more," 13-year-old Jessie Kelley said.

Williams Pipeline - As part of the Renewable Heat Now campaign, Mothers Out Front played a supporting role in stopping the Williams Pipeline


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

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

Bonding: July 18-21

Join us this Summer for another round of our introductory module in the series, Relational Culture 1: Bonding!

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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