Indigenous Peoples of the Adirondacks
September 23, 2023
For the second consecutive year, the Grace Hudowalski Charitable Trust will team with the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown in hosting a day-long public education and social event know as People & Peaks. This annual educational event, scheduled for September 23, 2023, continues the legacy of Grace Hudowalski, gathering mountain climbers and Adirondack wilderness enthusiasts to share their common experience and love of the Adirondack High Peaks and encouraging public understanding and appreciation of the unique history and cultural heritage associated with the region and climbing the 46 high peaks.
The topic of the event is native people of the Adirondacks.
The museum will open at 9 AM for participants to enjoy social time and view museum collections and exhibits. The Adirondack History Museum is home to the Permanent Exhibit Hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks, a must see for current and aspiring 46ers.
The event will conclude with a community picnic styled meal prepared and served by the Elizabethtown Volunteer Fire Department.
Seating is limited to 125 for the Program and 250 for the picnic and reception. Please reserve a place for either the Program (Full Day – which includes the reception) or the Reception so we can plan.
(Note: once you enter the number of tickets you want, the Next button will turn green. Clicking on that will take you through the rest of the reservation process.)
Participants attending the Reception will be able to explore the museum and Hiking the Adirondack High Peaks Exhibit from 3 to 5 PM (recommended for 46ers, New 46ers and Aspiring 46ers).
The Trust will be making a special grant to Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota, NY following the Keynote Presentation.
Attendees will receive a free copy of Bob Marshall’s vignette High Peaks of the Adirondacks, Centennial Edition. and a complimentary event mug. 46ers (please bring your membership card or know your number) will receive a replica of the original insignia used by the 46Rs of Troy designed by Ed Hudowalski (46er #6).
Indigenous Reflections—Musings of a Mohawk artist and storyteller:
David Kanietakeron Fadden, artist, illustrator, storyteller, and grandson of Six Nations Museum founder Ray Fadden is an Akwesasne Mohawk; his name Kanietakeron means Patches of Snow.
Learn more about David and his art:
- Adirondack Daily Enterprise
- Akwesasne TV
- Adirondack Almanac
- Peacemaker for Waring Nations
- Wisdom Tales
- Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center
The Trustiest Guides in all the Wilderness—Indigenous People’s Contributions to Adirondack Tourism:
Native people inhabited the Adirondacks long before European settlers dared enter the Couchsacraga – dismal wilderness and their knowledge of the region contributed significantly to the region’s development. This presentation will survey and discuss the many contributions native peoples made to the exploration of the Adirondack wilderness, development of natural resources, and the emergence of the region as a destination for recreation and tourism.
Melissa Otis, PhD University of Toronto History of Education, is author of the acclaimed Rural Indigenousness, A History of Iroquoian and Algonquin Peoples of the Adirondacks (Syracuse University Press 2018).
Otis’s Rural Indigenousness is a more comprehensive study of the relationship between Native Americans and the Adirondacks than we have seen to date. It shines a light on the rich history of Algonquian and Iroquoian people in the region and explores a variety of Native American experiences.The Adirondack Almanack
A passionate, comprehensive, much-needed affirmation of the ongoing and ancient presence of Native people in the Adirondacks.Douglas M. George-Kanentiio, author of Iroquois Culture and Commentary
Scholarly and popular histories alike have too often treated Native people as peripheral to the Adirondacks and the Adirondacks as peripheral to Native life. Melissa Otis puts that myth to rest, demonstrating that the Adirondacks have for centuries been an integral part of the Haudenosaunee and Abenaki homelands.James Rice, Walter S. Dickson Professor of History, Tufts University
A widespread myth holds that, for various reasons, “Indians didn’t live in the Adirondacks.” It is false. New archaeological and paleoecological research helps to confirm what Indigenous cultural knowledge has held all along, that people have lived in the Adirondack uplands since time immemorial. This presentation will summarize physical evidence of Indigenous presence on the land from 13,000 years ago through the present day, address the nature, origins, and consequences of persistent claims to the contrary, and consider the meaning of “wilderness” considering strong evidence that the human story in the Adirondacks is, quite literally, “older than the trees.”
Curt Stager, PhD Duke University Zoology and Geology, and author of Hidden Heritage (Adirondack Life, March/April 2017); professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College in New York; New York State’s Carnegie-Case Science Professor of the Year in 2013, and cohost of Natural Selections on North Country Public Radio.
Fireside with Henry Van Hoevenbergh—The Indian Pass, a legend:
Dramatization of Van Hoevenbergh’s 1888 narrative poem.