Manataka American Indian Council
Schaghticoke Indian Tribe
General History of the Schaghticoke
The Schaghticoke are a Native American tribe of the Eastern Woodlands consisting of descendants of Mahican (also called "Mohican", but not to be confused with the Mohegans), Potatuck (or Pootatuck), Weantinock, Tunxis, Podunk, and other people indigenous to what is now Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, who amalgamated after encroachment of white settlers on their ancestral lands. Their 400 acre (1.6 km²) reservation is located on the New York/Connecticut border within the boundaries of Kent in Litchfield County, Connecticut running parallel with the Housatonic River.
One of the oldest reservations in North America, reserve land was granted to the Schaghticoke in the year 1736 by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, 40 years prior to the formation of the United States. The language/ culture base is Algonquian with Iroquois influence. Tribe members trace their heritage to the first sachem, Gideon Mauwee, through his grandson Truman Bradley.
Schaghticoke is pronounced /skęt.ə.kok/ SCAT-uh-coke or /skęt.ə.kk/ SCAT-uh-cook (early colonial spelling: Scaticook) derived from an Algonquian word Pishgoch-ti-goch meaning "Where the river forks." Schaghticoke (village), New York, between the city of Troy in eastern NY and Bennington, VT, took its name from this tribe.
Highlights of Colonial and Modern Schaghticoke History
1699 - Schaghticoke were the Tribe first described by Europeans as inhabiting lands in northwestern Connecticut and eastern New York.
1729 - Gideon Mauwee, the first recorded Sachem of the Schaghticoke Tribe, signs deed to large tract of land.
1736 - Schaghticoke population includes approximately100 warriors. General Assembly identifies land on west side of Housatonic River as a Reserve for the Tribe, stipulating that white colonists cannot buy or sell the land.
1740 - Shortly after white settlers established the Town of Kent, Schaghticoke population estimated at 500- 600.
1743 - Moravian missionaries build a church and school at Schaghticoke.
1752 - The General Assembly sets aside a parcel of land to supplement the Tribe's Reservation.
1774-1776 - Schaghticoke men join the Continental Army, serving as scouts, signal corps, and soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
Mid-1800s - After Tribal overseers sell off much of the Tribe's land, Reservation dwindles to several hundred mountainous acres and a resident population less than 100.
Early 1900's - New Milford Power Company builds dam, flooding Tribal burial grounds.
1924 - 26, Connecticut Park and Forest Department assumes responsibility over Reservation from individual overseers.
1937 - United States opens Appalachian Trail on Schaghticoke land.
1941 - State transfers jurisdiction to Welfare Department.
1947 - Tribe files unsuccessful land claim with Indian Claims Commission.
1960-61 - Welfare Department refuses to provide funds to repair tribal members' homes, instead burns all but two residences on the Reservation.
1973 - Creation of Connecticut Indian Affairs Commission spearheaded by Schaghticoke.
1973 - Schaghticoke Indian (SIT) Tribe forms corporation.
1975 - SIT Nation files claim for Kent School lands in U.S. District Court.
1981 - SIT Nation files Letter of Intent for federal recognition with the BIA.
1986 - The tribe split and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN) was formed and Richard L. Velky was appointed Chief of STN one year later.
1991 - The STN constitution was revised and the tribe became known as the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent, Connecticut (STNKC).
1994 - STNKC delivers Federal Recognition Petition to the BIA's Branch of Acknowledgment and Research.
1997 - BIA deems STNKC petition Ready for Active Consideration.
1998 - New land claims filed in U.S. District Court.
1999 - U.S. District Court refuses to undertake judicial determination of tribal status; STNKC requests reconsideration and fails in a request for resolution through alternative dispute resolution.
2002 - STNKC dealt a setback in recognition effort. BIA rules that STNKC failed to meet two major criteria for federal recognition. The BIA's decision also determined that the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe (SIT) is the legitimate present-day continuation of the historical Schaghticoke Tribe.
Comments from Mickey Roth, SIT Executive Coordinator:
"Schaghticoke Indian Tribe is a Algonquin speaking people known as the Old Ones. During the colonial war for Independence, during the Battle of the Sparrow and the Hawk, the Algonquin (Schaghticoke) fought on the side of George Washington's colonialist troops against the British. The Iroquois fought on the side of the British against the colonies.
In 1736, all land west of the Housatonic River reserve land was granted to the Schaghticoke by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, 40 years prior to the formation of the United States in 1776.
We have sat quietly for many years as over seers where appointed and sold off or gave away almost all of our lands with very little restitution.
In 1981 the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe (S.I.T.) filed a petition for federally recognition.
In 1986, the tribe split and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent, Connecticut (STNKC) was formed with the support of the state of Connecticut government. Using the identity of SIT, through formation of a nonprofit corporation, in 1991 STNKC filed a new petition for federal recognition that was granted in 2004. However, STNKC members did not live on the reservation and STNKC claims were rejected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because it did not meet certain community and political authority sections of federal recognition law.
The BIA's decision determined that the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe (SIT) is the legitimate present-day continuation of the historical Schaghticoke Tribe.
SIT claims will be considered by the federal government when its petitions are complete and reviewed under the acknowledgment regulations.
The SIT is ready to move forward.
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