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When Two Worlds Met: Indigenous Peoples of Northeast America

September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NORTHEAST AMERICA establishes context for the series by examining what we know about the lives of Algonquin and Iroquoian language speaking peoples just prior to contact with Europeans. Eastern North American lands have been home to extremely successful civilizations and cultures for thousands of years. We will use surviving material culture objects, archaeology, anthropology, Indigenous Peoples’ history, and early European observations. As we investigate this material, we will build a basic understanding of these successful cultures. This program will explore technology, foodways, clothing, skills and knowledge, and village and family life.

Over a two-hundred and fifty-year period, from 1500 to 1750, European encounters with the Indigenous Peoples of North America increased in frequency and intensity, and European settlement of North America rapidly expanded. While both societies incorporated aspects of the others’ material world, the changes were most dramatic in the Eastern Woodlands tribes. The People retained their cultures and beliefs (for the most part), but their lives and their material world were significantly altered. When Two Worlds Met is a series of seven programs exploring the Algonquin and Iroquoian language-speaking peoples of the northeast in the early Historic Period during this interaction time, we will use original materials, including documents and objects, as gateways to expand our understanding of this controversial and complex era. Maps, surviving images, and accounts are some of the documents we will consider. Material culture will be explored through drawings, accounts, and surviving objects. Each of the seven programs focuses on a different topic in the more significant theme of the impacts upon Indigenous Northeastern North American life and culture of European interactions and actions in the early Contact Period.

Gail White Usher is an educator and researcher of New England’s early history. She is the education coordinator for Historic New England, based at Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, and at Arnold House in Lincoln, RI. White Usher is also a principal of “Through 18th-Century Eyes,” a group that presents programs and lectures on diverse topics about life in pre-Revolutionary War New England to audiences at historic sites, schools, and public venues. White Usher is president of the Woodstock Historical Society and chair of the Woodstock Historic District Commission. Her research centers on Native American and European immigrant women in the 17th and early 18th centuries. She is particularly fascinated by the dynamic interactions between the two cultures and the impacts on the two populations.

Join us on the third Thursday of each month for lively conversations using history as a basis— Conversation Club endeavors to make new ideas and perspectives accessible. Re-examining the past frames meaningful dialogue, learning, and reflection and helps us envision the future. Our club is based on “The Conversation Club,” formed in 1818, which gathered to discuss the leading issues of the day in Farmington, Connecticut.

Stanley-Whitman House is a living history center and museum that teaches through the collection, preservation, research, and dynamic interpretation of the history and culture of early Farmington. Programs, events, classes, and exhibits encourage visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in history by doing, acting, questioning, and engaging in colonial life and the ideas that formed the foundation of that culture. FMI:

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