Historic Northampton is far from being a cheerful monument to our mutual family’s involvement in colonial conquest and genocide. It stopped being a museum dedicated to being part of “vanishing” the history of native peoples and slaves and women long ago. These days Historic Northampton is dedicated to a lively exploration of all cultures. It’s programming is enlightened and diverse. Give generously to support programming that brings people to life. We cannot undo what has been done, but we can participate in making sure that those whose land our ancestors took are not forgotten. Standing at the epicenter of places where lost people are remembered can be healing. The everyday-ness of xenophobia can be treated and cured person by person. All is not lost. We can cast aside punishing judgements that limit our ability to see. Historic Northampton is a bright spot in our evolution.

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I'm on Mattinicock Land. My mom's house is on the last row of homes along a border to what is now apparently "federal land" bought from the Mattinicock, with the condition that all the backyard fences of the homes along it must have a gate through which any Mattinicock may pass in order to enter it.

I grew up from my teens onward, here, back now to care for my mom, and always wondered about those gates. I learned about them a few months ago from a real estate lawyer a few doors down. She's the one who told me about that land over the fence we always simply called "the bird sanctuary," where my brothers and I used to play, hacking mazes into the reeds leading to the bay. I'm glad I really appreciated the beauty of this land when I was young (because now I'm just terrified of the ticks).

Currently trying to find out if there are any Mattinicock left to meet in what is now called Little Neck, Queens.

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