During a two-day virtual session this past May 2021, 30 staff members from the Dartmouth College Library and the Hood Museum of Art came together as a working group on Indigenous Cultural Heritage. We were led by Mohegan presenters, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel and Madeleine Hutchins, who shared their experiences working at other institutions on cultural materials.
The presentation featured powerful examples of Native people using their cultural materials stored at universities. One particularly memorable example shared with us centered on Fidelia Flying Bird Fielding, who was one of the last fluent Mohegan-Pequot speakers when she died in 1908. Her diaries were recently returned from Cornell University archives to the Mohegan Tribe. Our presenters described it as Fidelia herself coming home to the community.
Our colleagues at Dartmouth have shared how much they enjoyed the Savage Kin assigned reading, Indigenous food gifts, radio plays from our Mohegan partners, and the opportunity to implement the lessons of “Respecting Our Relations” into our daily work.
The recorded session from May 12 is available for registered Dartmouth users on Panopto:
Respecting Our Relations: Indigenous Cultural Material in the Academy