Update: OCTOBER 27, 2021 I am happy to celebrate 18 years of Mohican-7 with all of you. It has been a very challenging journey but many rewards including winning the Grant for Breath of Life Archival Institute of Indigenous Languages in Washington DC. Mohican Forever! – Founder Mohican Wenona Gardner
How it Began!
UPDATED:SEP 12, 2018
ORIGINAL:MAR 10, 2004
Technology builds tribal relationship
WAUKESHA, Wis. – Scattered across the continent, living in neighborhoods in rural and urban areas, the Mohican people now connect through a group called Mohican-7, a Wisconsin-based interactive Web site that allows dialogue and language to flow among the tribes.
“Most of the Mohican people do not live on the reservation, but are scattered across the country,” said Wenona Gardner of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans, founder of the group. “There are many Mohican people living in areas especially outside of Wisconsin who want to be connected to their tribe to learn its language, culture, arts, but never had a means to connect with other Mohicans on a regular basis.”https://f83d5a9993189f501b6b479c8182bd02.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Gardner, a writer and artist, said that technology can allow the average tribal member to build more positive relationships with their own tribal members that previously were inaccessible due to location. A group such as this allows people to pool their knowledge together on how to help each other accomplish personal and group goals of shared Mohican interests. In just a few months they already have a group of over 700 messages and growing membership of almost 90 members. Members talk about such things as language and genealogy.null
“I believe the Mohican people’s greatest resource is its own people,” she said. “Our nation needed to be talking to each other more on a person-to-person basis.”
Mohican-7 was established on the Internet in September 2003 to bring all Mohicans together regardless of where they live. One member was serving in the military during the Iraq war while still receiving messages via Mohican-7, from home.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians descended from Mohicans and Munsee Delawares who migrated from New York, Pennsylvania and New England to Wisconsin in the 1820s and 1830s. Mohican, originally pronounced Muh-he-con-ne-ok means “People of The Waters That Are Never Still.” They occupied the Upper Hudson River Valley in New York state until the years between 1783 and 1786 when European settlement removed them from their homeland.https://f83d5a9993189f501b6b479c8182bd02.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
“I hate the words ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and the myth it has perpetuated that the Mohican tribe is dead and has been for a long time,” said Gardner. “It is not very life affirming to grow up in a world that repeatedly tells you are suppose to be dead. I thought that a new idea needed to be introduced that projects life of the Mohican people not just today but in the future. What a thought, the Mohican tribe growing and thriving seven generations from now, like in the year 2300.”
Gardner’s interest in language began when she was in her teens and wanted to write a poem using her tribe’s language.
“Language is alive. It’s organic. It is born from the spirit and minds of the people. It is spoken from their breath,” said Gardner. “In my eyes the words are like golden threads weaving us all together. Having the opportunity to use the words of my ancestors are like golden heirlooms.”
Her interest led her to work on Schmick’s Mahican Dictionary, edited by Carl Masthay in 1991. Looking for ways to use language in her day-to-day life, she formed the group and brought Masthay on board. Gardner is also turning Schmick’s dictionary into electronic database to use in teaching Mohican-7 members from the American Philosophical Society.
“I created a language experiment called Keeper of the Word,” she said. “Each member picks a single word to learn and dedicate to teaching others for their entire life. People can use their word in creative ways such as part of the signature of their email, on their profile or part of a poem.”
This activity engages people in taking an interest in the language one word at a time and encourages sharing it with others at the same time. Language is meant to be used for community involvement, Gardner said.
Communication is daily and ongoing. This group is interactive in a way that lets people upload pictures of their families, files including music, the language database, polls, and the message archives. Questions, geneology requests, debates and birthday cards are shared by members ranging from children to elders. There is a designated chat time each week. Subjects include the Mo he con nuk Confederacy, Woodland Indians, Algonquin, Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans, Hudson River Valley Housatonic, Wisconsin New York tribes, Mohican language, Mohican government, Mohican Constitution and Mohican arts.
“Using online groups to provide tribal members the opportunity to get to know each other, share events, knowledge, wisdom, articles, and personal insights is not just good for the individual tribal members but the tribe as a whole,” said Gardner. “I believe creating this group helps the Mohican nation, and using the Internet in this way can help other Native nations work better towards achieving common goals through increasing communication.”
What is nice about the Internet is that you can use it for free to create and can include tribal members who may not make it to the reservation often enough to talk about matters on a regular basis, Gardner said.
Gardner visited different Native language classes to observe how other Native nations were teaching their Native languages. She said that having the opportunity to interact with others is important in learning a second language.
“Factor in that of the 1,500 enrolled tribal members, 1,100 members live off reservation, something unique needs to be done to connect these people to each other,” Gardner said. “The web I find is a good way to connect on this language topic. There are a lot of articles on what Native people are doing to resurrect their languages. I study them and send the most intriguing ones to the group.”
One of the consistent compliments she said she receives about this group is that it’s much needed.
“I agree,” she said. “We need to see our tribe as more than just a reservation and include all of its members who live off reservation.”
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As a Native American enrolled in the Mohican and also from Oneida, Brothertown, Narragansett, and Ojibwe Tribes ….all I see is the Genocide that is still going on today. All around me. And it kills my spirit.
I remember being a guest speaker at UWM and telling younger Native American kids in school my college experience. And I explained I am from the Mohican Tribe. This person came up to me afterwards and told me to my face that I couldn’t be Mohican because the Mohican Tribe is extinct. I hate the movie & the book Last of Mohicans because they glorify Genocide of my Mohican Tribe set to a catchy Soundtrack. And my soul bleeds.
My Mohican Tribe is facing extinction today due to ongoing Genocide. So I got off my couch and decided to run for office. I am a Daughter of a Medicine Woman Wambli Wasu Winyan – Hail Eagle Woman. I am a Grand Daughter of Chief John Konkapot an American Revolutionary War Hero who helped create this country serving as Captain in George Washington’s Army. I am a Native American Witch whose greatest strength is my Spirit.
Building on my Strength of Spirit, I have committed to praying an hour each day to heal our country but also our Mother Earth. So far I have prayed 1,075 hours. I have a Prayer Circle. I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country & all Mother Earth in whatever way you believe in.
1st Enrolled Native American Woman for US President 2020 & 2024
I am happy to receive support from another US Independent Candidate Jackie Capiro of Arizona. Great Creator brought us together through Tik Tok. We connected instantly. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know each other. Jackie is a very wise and intelligent Presidential Candidate. I welcome the mutual support we have for each other. Chi Miigwetch Thank you very much! Many Blessings
Wabun Anung – Morning Star
1st Enrolled Native American Woman US President Candidate 2020 & 2024
A Sign of Hope.
A Coming of A New Dawn.
As of New Moon October 6, 2021 I am officially registered with the FEC as an Independent US President Candidate from Milwaukee, WI for 2024. I am Officially the 1st Enrolled Native American Woman from Stockbridge-Munsee Band Band of Mohican Tribe to Run for US President 2020 and 2024 in US History.
My FEC President Candidate ID: P40006587. I Pray for my Ancestor Mohican Chief Konkapot of the Turkey Clan to Protect, Guide, & Walk With Me on this Spiritual & Healing Journey. I have already completed 1,075 hours of Daily Prayer & Healing Ceremony since Sept 11, 2018. I continue to do daily Ceremony as taught to me by my Medicine Mom Wambli Wasu Winyan – Hail Eagle Woman going forward.
As a Certified Peer Support & Wellness Specialist & Trauma Survivor, I strongly believe we need Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Across the Entire Country. Part of TIC must include healing Historical Trauma of Native American people from ongoing Genocide through prioritizing Native American Language Restoration, MMIW, Every Child Matters, Wellbriety, etc.
Can I count on you to be my friend who I can share my Campaign Journey with?
I always accept written prayers too.
To All My Relations
Wenona Gardner 2024
Wabun Anung –
A Sign of Hope.
A Coming of A
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