Nearly $150,000 in federal grants, including a match by six Berkshire County nonprofit organizations, will fund interpretive programs and projects exploring the history and heritage of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Tribe. The indigenous community’s original 18th century homelands were in South Berkshire, northwest Connecticut and the Upper Hudson Valley of New York state.
The funds appropriated by Congress, based on National Park Service recommendations, were awarded by Housatonic Heritage, which has offices in Stockbridge and in Salisbury, Conn., as well as an Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.
The projects supported by the grants, combined with funds raised by the local institutions on a minimum one-to-one match, include:
• Berkshire Historical Society, $1,875, for Trails and Tales at Arrowhead. The Interpretive walking trail focuses on Mohican history in the area and includes a Zoom presentation by the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Director of Historic Preservation Bonney Hartley.
• Berkshire Museum, $35,000, for Muh-he-con-ne-ok: The People of the Waters That Are Never Still, a major exhibition being curated by a Stockbridge-Munsee Community historian.
• Bidwell House Museum, Monterey, $7,300, for expanded programs related to its Native American Interpretive Trail, in conjunction with the Berkshire Museum exhibition.
• Hancock Shaker Village, $1,400, for The Shakers and Indigenous People: An interpretive signage project.
• Southern Berkshire Regional School District, $1,000 for a summer educational film documentary based on travel to Bowler, Wis., current home of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, and to various sites of significance after the Mohican-Munsee removal from their original homelands.
• Stockbridge Library Museum and Archives, $11,000, for Deeds of Our Past: The Stockbridge Indians and Colonial Bonds. The program acknowledges the Stockbridge-Munsee Community through artifacts and archival documents.
The projects are to be completed by June 30, 2022, said Dan Bolognani, executive director of Housatonic Heritage. With fundraising by the local nonprofits continuing, more than $140,000, including $57,000 from the federal grants, already has been raised, he noted.
This story has been modified to correct the name of the Berkshire Museum exhibition.