Father, we thank You for the life and service of Samson Occom whom You sent to be a light to everyone around him but especially to his brethren in the flesh. We thank You for the shower of blessings his life, even still, continues to water us with today. May we, inspired by his example, work tirelessly for the good of our neighbor, be an instrument of Your peace, “fight the good fight”, and always sing Your praises.
Just a reminder that Samson Occom Day is coming up this Wednesday! For those who may have missed the news, in 2020, the Brothertown Indian Nation Council established July 14th as an annual Brothertown Indian Nation holiday. It is the 2nd national holiday instituted by our tribal nation. The other is Eeyawquittoowauconnuck Day which is celebrated on November 7th; the day Occom recorded in his journal as the date of the formal founding of our “body politick”.
How do you plan to celebrate?
For further reading on Samson Occom, please follow this link:
The Joseph Johnson award was instituted by our Tribal Council in 2008. This award has only been given out three times in our history. The first recipient was Bernard “Boots” Sampson, the 2nd was Caroline K. Andler and today, the 3rd recipient is Mark Baldwin. Mark’s award is unique in that he is the only member to whom this award was bestowed posthumously. Thank you to Tribal Council for honoring Mark’s dedication and outstanding service to the Brothertown Indian Nation.
For more information, please see the following blog post by Brothertown Forward: https://brothertownforward.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/joseph-johnson-award-bestowed-on-mark-alan-baldwin-june-20-2021/
He fought like a warrior for the good of our Nation
wielding paper and pen and vociferous oration
He’d let fly the arrows of well-organized thought
Feathered with wording so precisely wrought
The Brotherton Messenger, grants, and petitions
Documentaries, errands, and Council positions
Brothertown Forward and Calumet and Cross
Now struggle to recover from this gigantic loss
In Wisconsin or California; wherever he’d roam
His heart was with Brothertown; his ancestral home
He now sings in Heaven’s own “hollowed out square”
With Occom, Commuck, and the Brotherton there
Dear family and friends,
I am beginning to collect photos and stories for Calumet and Cross’s 2022 Brothertown calendar, “Brothertown: 7 tribes; 7 generations”. The plan is to highlight a different family each month with pictures of 7 generations of that family along with a brief family bio. If you would like to have your family featured in the calendar, please contact me. Priority will be given to early submissions. Thank you!
Over the weekend, our Tribal Historic Preservation Officer gave birth to our very first 2021 Brothertown baby!* Mother and son look very happy and well. A new baby is always welcome news, and particularly after a year like 2020. Likewise, a new Brothertown baby is always special news, but Oliver’s birth seems especially poignant. Perhaps because it follows so closely after Lani’s departure; perhaps because I’ve seen Oliver’s grandfather serve our Tribe in many ways over the years, and his mother as well; or perhaps it’s because Oliver’s birth, like the heralding of spring, sparks renewed hope.
In mostly subtle ways, Brothertown has been gaining renewed strength in recent years. We’ve always had folks ready and willing to serve our Tribe and we’ve always had friends helping us when we’ve needed them. But recently, we’ve seen a renewed increase in participation, greater communication and camaraderie, and our young people are becoming increasingly more involved. Indeed, 4 of our 9 Council members are in their early 30’s or younger. [I believe that this is the youngest group of leaders we’ve ever had; save for our beginning in the 1770’s and ‘80’s.] We’ve also seen renewed interest from those outside of Brothertown who want to know how they can help. There are many exciting things upon the Brothertown horizon and it may be Oliver’s generation that bears the fruit thereof. Oliver’s birth, like all of our Brothertown children, is a sign of hope, a renewal of strength, and a glimpse into our future. Welcome, Oliver!
Please spare a moment to pray for Oliver and his parents as they begin a new life together. May God bless, guide, and guard them.
*I just found out that Baby Oliver (who was due on the 21st of January) actually missed the new year by 15 minutes! So, he was born in 2020 but didn’t wait long to help us usher in the New Year.
“We Keep a Fire For the Dead” We keep a fire for the dead whose spirits walk before us Who, shoes exchanged for eagle’s wings, now sing angelic chorus Though they no longer walk the land in Brothertown today Our hearts remain forevermore where’er our brethren lay ~A Brothertown Citizen
This has been a difficult week in Brothertown. Many of our people were diagnosed with Covid-19. On December 1, elder Lani Bartelt walked on. Lani began volunteering with the Tribe in the 1980’s and never looked back. Here is a link to a YouTube video that Lani did with us a couple of years ago: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dQFMQeCuH_c.
Lani, you will be sorely missed but we are comforted by the thought that the ancestors are there to welcome you with open arms at the gates of our Heavenly Reservation.
Wisconsin’s Governor Evers has declared this Saturday, November 7th, Eeyamquittoowauconnuck/Brothertown Day in the state of Wisconsin! This coincides, of course, with the tribe’s annual celebration of this date which, according to the Reverend Samson Occom’s journal, is the day on which our Brothertown ancestors gathered into a “body politick” in New York and christened themselves “Brotherton, in Indian Eeyawquittoowauconnuck.”
You (Brothertown descendant or not) are invited to join us in our virtual celebration this Saturday, November 7th. We will begin at 6:30pm Central with a welcome from our Tribal Council and a reading of the proclamation followed by a presentation from Andrew Olson on the Brothertown Indians involved in Indiana’s St Mary’s Treaties. Please contact me for login information.
Hope to see you there!
The University of Michigan’s Clements Library is in possession of a Bible once owned by Samson Occom. The Library’s curator, Emi Hastings, has agreed to share this Bible via Zoom this Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 7pm Central/8 Eastern. This will be done during our regular Brothertown Book Club meeting. If you’d like to see the Bible and/or join us for future book club meetings, please contact me for the Zoom link and password.
The auctions for Brothertown’s 2020 Virtual Homecoming are underway! If you’d like to purchase some unique gifts while also helping to support the Brothertown Tribe, please visit the Brothertown Facebook auction page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/3630594243630943. Some of the items being auctioned include a wool blanket, fleece and deerhide gauntle mitts, ribbon skirt, books, jewelry, dolls, and many other works of art created by Brothertown artists. All auctions are set to end at 8pm Central Time Monday, October 19th!
If you would like to join us in making some traditional recipes this weekend, please click here:
For some coloring and activity pages for the kids, click here: