Call to Land Protectors - Tonight, Nayyag's Fate Again in Play
Tonight, February 17, 2021 from 6-7 pm there will be a Zoom presentation by Massachusetts Department of Transportation (link at bottom of page) on their planned traffic circle that would demolish a unique Archaic Native legacy site, one that was recommended for the National Register of Historic Places. MA DOT is billing this as a walk-through of their plans and the "alternative selection" process.
MEAS has the background, archaeological facts and history of this case on “Today in MA” pages at:
The problem of Massachusetts not recognizing Native nations and their descendants is documented and discussed at:
You can learn more about Massachusetts Indigenous ancient history here:
The UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples gives us the right to determine the disposition of our cultural and intellectual heritage, as well as our sacred sites and other physical legacy. The entire declaration, which the USA signed, is here:
The archaeological report for the Nayyag site is attached below.
You can ask questions and submit comments to the MA DOT comment page for this case:
Unanswered questions are:
1. Does the project deliver on its claimed benefits? Is the project cost-effective? Does the project really solve the problem of traffic flow?
2. Have DOT and Northampton fulfilled their duty in regard to the UN Declaration on Universal Human Rights and the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which USA signed?
3. Why have actual descendants of Nolwottog not been identified and contacted as per the international rights agreements above, esp. Sections 12 and 13 of Un Declaration on RIP?
4, Why has Massachusetts not complied with its own policy on equal historic preservation regardless of race or ethnic origin?
Our answers are:
1.No, it’s a temporary fix and there are already accidents at the new traffic circle just down the road. This traffic circle will not relieve the rapidly expanding traffic load.
2 and 3. No, local descendants have neither been identified nor contacted; there are at least 28 documented Native peoples on land deeds in MA and 17 Native nations who petitioned for recognition, but are not recognized. Only 1 tribe is MA is recognized by the state and 1 by the feds out of 28 documented.
4. Massachusetts has preserved hundreds of Colonial legacy sites with taxpayer money and state partners, and maintains those hundreds of sites. Massachusetts has not done this for Indigenous Massachusetts historical and archaeological legacy.
This site is potentially ancestral to all Algonquian people of this region, being up to 10,000 years old. Most of those descendants have no voice in this process; the descendants of the Nolwottog people and their Valley neighbors also have no voice in this process.
LINK TO THE MEETING 6-7 PM FEB 17 2021: