Native American history talk at NQTA

Staff Writer
Friday, February 09, 2018

ORANGE — Bobby Curley, president of the North Quabbin Trails Association has promised “technology will meet history” for the monthly Gathering of the NQTA, to be held Monday at 6 p.m.

The keynote speaker is David Brule, program director for the Nolumbeka Project, a non-profit group dedicated to the promotion of a deeper, broader and more accurate depiction of the history of Native Americans in New England before the arrival of Europeans.

Much of the Nolumbeka Project’s work is the preservation of sites found to be sacred and of historic value. One such site is the Wissatinnewag property in Greenfield. Originally targets for the construction of a Walmart, the property was the last remaining undeveloped piece of an ancient native village. The 61-acre property was purchased by members of the Friends of Wissatinnewag in 2001 for $780,000 and is now protected from development.

“NQTA has had some of its finest spiritual and stewardship days working over at Great Falls at the Wissatinnewag village, ancient burial grounds and Native American gathering site and at this Gathering looks to continues this relationship in the upcoming stewardship season,” said Curley in an email to the Daily News.

Brule will lead a talk about the tribal presence at Great Falls, a history of the National Park Service’s continued study of the 1676 massacre at the site, and future projects for the Wissatinnewag site in terms of future preservation, restoration, education, and the creation of a master plan for Wissatinnewag. The talk will include a short slideshow.

There will also be a stewardship signup sheet present for those who wish to partner with the Nolumbeka Project for its spring and summer stewardship programs.

The gathering will open with guest speaker Dr. John Henshaw, the dean of Workforce Development for Mount Wachusett Community College who will speak on the free youth job training program for adults ages 17 to 29 at MWCC’s Devens campus.

MWCC will offer two free six-week programs in quality technician training and automation technician training that will run multiple times throughout the year. Any participants will be given an opportunity upon completion to work with a college career development coach to assist with job placement within one of these growing fields.

“So what we are talking about here is free Robotic and Advanced Technology training that is immediately needed for our US economy and after training continual support in job career placement,” said Curley.

Brent Pitcher, in working with Howard Clark’s research on the history of maize, will also be in attendance and will present an interactive display on the back breeding of maize.

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