Schaghticoke First Nation's Newsletter

Review of recent events and notice of upcoming events

By: Kristin Stinavage, SFN Tribal Secretary


Roberto Mukaro Borrero of the Taino People & Sachem Hawkstorm of Schaghticoke First Nations Opening for Portugal The Man Concert

Roberto Mukaro Borrero with his two daughters, Mainaku & Kayaani, & wife, Joselyn, & Sachem HawkStorm with his two daughters, Amelia SparrowHawk and Taryn Raccoon. 
Mainaku, Kayaani, Amelia & Taryn with Hobo Johnson
Mainaku, Kayaani, Amelia & Taryn with Portugal The Man!
Recording of the Opening to Portugal the Man concert
Celebrating Indigenous People's Day with the Steiner Elementary School Students
Article in The Berkshire Eagle
Students walk through woods with Chief Robert HawkStorm Bergin of the Schaghticoke First Nations, during his visit Friday to the Rudolf Steiner School in Great Barrington.

"The kindergartners, bouncing into each other, are also full of questions — one asks beyond what HawkStorm is willing to discuss in the presence of children so young.

"Is the story about Christopher Columbus true?" 

The adults went silent. HawkStorm paused, then said, "That's for another day, but I'm glad you brought that up."


It was a picturesque fall day to come spend time with the children of the Steiner Elementary School. Sachem HawkStorm sat with the 2-4 year-olds and sang, went on a walk & hike with the 4-6 year olds, then spoke at the school assembly with grades 1-8. After the walk & hike with the 4-6 year olds, they came up to Hawk gifting him raspberries from their berry bushes and flowers they had picked. We look forward to growing our relationship with the Great Barrington Steiner School.

Indigenous People's Day Celebration on Randall's Island

With Cliff Matias, Pua CaseJ Alison Henry and Sachem HawkStorm.

Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Day 

 Project Drawdown Event at Omega Institute

Left to right: Mainaku Borrero, Roberto Mukaro Borrero, Kayaani Borrero, Sherri Mitchell, Lauren Howland, Danita Ordaz, Sachem HawkStorm

Description of Indigenous Stewardship Panel:

Indigenous communities are among those most dramatically impacted by climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. As their ecosystems transform, these communities are adapting by drawing upon local knowledge, traditional practices, and scientific technologies. Indigenous peoples’ relationship with the land is an important Drawdown solution for reversing global warming. This relationship is not centered in land ownership or land management, but in an inherent respect for the sacredness of every life and an understanding of our relatedness to the entire creation. The solutions that rise out of this understanding can lead to a more harmonized and life-sustaining future for us all. In this session, explore how we can honor and learn from the indigenous experience and how we can identify, connect with, and partner with indigenous communities to catalyze action on climate solutions.

What is Drawdown?

The Mission

Project Drawdown gathers and facilitates a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.

Each solution reduces greenhouse gases by avoiding emissions and/or by sequestering carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.


Out of the 80 Solutions, Here are the Top 20:

Sachem HawkStorm Speaks to High School students in
Mattawan, Michigan 

Hosted by Jeff Butler, American History teacher at Mattawan High School, Sachem HawkStorm spoke to an auditorium full of high schoolers, a freshmen history class and senior AP US history class afterwards. He talked about his work in the United Nations, in his local and international communities, but he also talked about his personal story, one marked with much hardship and tragedy, but also of tremendous triumph.  

AWAKE: A Dream From Standing Rock Screening & Panel At SUNY Orange

Left to right:  William Makofsky, Rachel Marco-Havens, Sachem HawkStorm, James Spione

AWAKE, A Dream From Standing Rock, a documentary film about the Water Protectors’ 2016 protest of the oil pipeline through their Native American homelands.

AWAKE follows the dramatic rise of the historic #NODAPL native-led peaceful resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. This became one of the biggest stories of 2016. Thousands of activists converged from around the country to stand in solidarity with the water protectors (activists) protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which is intended to carry fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through sovereign land and under the Missouri River, the water source for the Standing Rock reservation and 17 million people downstream.

Each of the three sections of the film tells the story of the Standing Rock protests in the unique perspective and style of the filmmaker who created it. The immersive documentary features emotional first-person accounts as well as gripping verité footage of militarized local police and private security teams confronting water protectors and journalists with rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, water hoses, and weaponized dogs. But the film also takes viewers behind the front lines to reveal the intimate day-to-day life of the camp community, as indigenous and non-indigenous protectors gather for peaceful prayer and song, and engage in daily tasks like clearing snow, raising tipis, distributing clothing donations, or building sleeping barracks for the many veterans who arrived to join the water protectors.

The Tale of the Mountain Ash Tree

Oral Traditional Tale as told to Wolf-Walker Conley by C. Blue-Wolf
It is common amongst many indigenous peoples to have methods of forecasting weather and other natural events.  many years ago, a friend of Ojibwa decent told me a tale his people used for predicting the coming Winter’s severity. They would monitor the berry production of the Mountain ash tree during the late Fall. If it were abundant, they believed the Winter would be very harsh and long. In honor of this teaching, I planted a beautiful mountain ash tree for my daughter when she was nothing but a sapling herself. Now it is over twenty-five feet tall and a valued provider of shade, shelter and food for the local wildlife.  (and my daughter has grown to young womanhood.) This year there are many berry clusters, so be prepared; firewood, good shelter and food at the ready.
This is the tale of the Mountain Ash:
         Long ago, a great winter storm announced the arrival of a most cold and terrible winter. The snow piled high amongst the trees, keeping people inside their homes. The cold was unending and food supplies were used up quickly as people fought off the bone chilling winds of Winter. In one village the brave young men gathered to form a hunting party to bring home much needed food. The survival of their people depended upon their success, travel was difficult, but onward they went through the ever-increasing snow drifts. As they approached a clearing in the woods, they were amazed to find the ground covered with dead birds and an eerie silence. The birds were so numerous that even the bravest of the hunters started whispering of a great evil that must be invading their land.
That night as they gathered around their fire, it was agreed that prayers should be offered to the Creator asking for guidance. Long into the cold night their song could be heard breaking the wintery silence. The Creator heard and told them of the illness visiting their land and how to bring the world back into balance. He told them that they needed to pay respect to the trees which provides what is needed to survive. The hunters selected the Mountain Ash to honor because it provided wood for their tools, baskets and fire.  Creator was pleased and instructed them to take the blood of the fallen birds and shake it onto the ash trees as an offering of thanks. They completed the task and gathered around their fire for much needed sleep. Upon waking the next morning, they were greeted by the sounds of birds busy feeding on bright red berries which now covered the ash trees. The clusters of berries had been formed from the blood offering and the trees were returning the gift. The hunters gave thanks to the Creator and in return Creator offered to have the Mountain Ash produce many berries each year before the long winter. To this day the Ash carries out this ceremony and if a large crop is seen forming, you can rest assured that it is a sign of a very cold, long winter and the Creator is providing extra food for the months ahead.

Introduction to Learning the Schaghticoke Mahican Dialect
Weekly Classes with Drew Otter 

The class is via group text every Monday, the text is comprised of grammatically and phonetically written words and phrases accompanied by an audio of the word and phrase to listen and practice on your own. 

Contact Drew via email if you are interested in participating!

Upcoming Events

Decolonizing Wealth: A Evening with Edgar Villanueva and Sachem HawkStorm

Sat, December 1, 2018

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST

Senate Garage

4 North Front Street

Kingston, NY 12401

  • In a time of such stark inequality, what can we learn from indigenous communities about their relationship to money and to sharing resources for social justice?
  • How can the traditional roles of foundations reinforce inequality, and what kinds of changes can give us a new way forward?
  • What does it look like to “Decolonize Wealth” in New York and other parts of the country?

We’ll gather at the Senate Garage in Kingston for a conversation with Edgar Villanueva, author of the new book, “Decolonizing Wealth.” He’ll sit down with indigenous rights activist Sachem HawkStorm, chief of North Star Fund grantee Schaghticoke First Nations. He’ll ask Edgar about his new book, about old concepts of sharing resources and building power and how we can move forward in new ways. North Star Fund staff, leaders and grantee partners will be available for conversation as well. We'll be serving wine, beer and snacks.

The new book "Decolonizing Wealth" will be available for sale, and Edgar will be available to sign some copies.

REGISTER (its free!!)

Check out previous newsletters:

September 2018
August 2018
June 26, 2018
June 7, 2018
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Schaghticoke First Nations · 4 Dineen Rd · Millbrook, NY 12545-5379 · USA

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