Storrowton Village Museum acknowledges that Storrowton Village stands on Indigenous land, known to the original Algonkian Indian (Native American/Indigenous) inhabitants as “Agawam,” or “Akawaham.” The Indigenous name for this place is a locative term that roughly translates to “low-lying marshy lands,” describing a large region along both sides of the Kwinitekw (now called the Connecticut River) from present-day Enfield, Connecticut to the Holyoke Range. For at least 10,000 years, since the last era of glaciation, the Agawam people engaged in trade, diplomacy, and kinship with other regional Indigenous people, most notably: the Quaboag to the East; the Podunk to the South; the Woronoco to the West; and the Nonotuck, Pocumtuck, and Sokoki to the North.
During the 1630s, when Agawam leaders invited English colonial settlers to build a small settlement here, they attempted to preserve, in written deeds, Indigenous cartographies and rights to hunt, fish, plant, and live on tribal lands. When diplomatic relations failed, the Agawam people were decimated and dispersed as a direct result of colonial deceit, disease, and warfare. Although the survivors sought refuge with other Native communities across the northeast, very few direct descendants of the Agawam people live in West Springfield today.
Storrowton Village Museum acknowledges, however, that many Indigenous nations, from the territory we now call "southern New England," still survive and still exercise sovereignty. Storrowton Village Museum acknowledges, in particular, these contemporary Indigenous nations: the Nipmuc to the East; the Wampanoag and Narragansett to the Southeast; the Mohegan, Pequot, and Schaghticoke to the South; the Mohican to the West; and the Abenaki to the North, among many others. Recognizing that the entirety of the North American continent constitutes territory considered to be original Indigenous homelands, Storrowton Village respects the sovereignty of these and hundreds of other Native American Indigenous nations that survive today and Storrowton Village pledges to support the rights of these nations and the interests of Indigenous peoples.
Land acknowledgement adapted from "Springfield-Agawam Indigenous Land Acknowledgement" website
from Springfield College and Dr. Laurel Davis-Delano. The website is a valuable collection of resources for beginning to learn about local Indigenous history.