Our History


 Schaghticoke Indian Tribe History:
 

Since time immemorial the “Schaghticoke Indian Tribe” exclusively possessed, used and occupied aboriginal lands including those lands within the State of New York, the State of Connecticut and the State of Massachusetts but and more specifically in the Township of Kent, Connecticut.




The Schaghticoke are a Native American tribe of the Eastern Woodlands consisting of descendants of Mahican (also called "Mohican", but not to be confused with the Mohegans), Potatuck (or Pootatuck), Weantinock, Tunxis, Podunk, and other people indigenous to what is now Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, who amalgamated after encroachment of white settlers on their ancestral lands. Their 400 acre (1.6 km²) reservation  is located on the New York/Connecticut border within the boundaries of Kent in Litchfield County, Connecticut running parallel with the Housatonic River.

One of the oldest reservations in North America, reserve land was granted to the Schaghticoke in the year 1736 by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, 40 years prior to the formation of the United States. The language/ culture base is Algonquian with Iroquois influence. Tribe members trace their heritage to the first sachem, Gideon Mauwee, through his grandson Truman Bradley.

Schaghticoke is pronounced /skæt.ə.kok/ SCAT-uh-coke or /skæt.ə.kk/ SCAT-uh-cook (early colonial spelling: Scaticook) derived from an Algonquian word Pishgoch-ti-goch meaning "Where the river forks." Schaghticoke (village), New York, between the city of Troy in eastern NY and Bennington, VT, took its name from this tribe.  

Wikipedia www.wikipedia.org

Highlights of Colonial through Modern Schaghticoke History

1699 - Schaghticoke were the Tribe first described by Europeans as inhabiting lands in northwestern Connecticut and eastern New York.

1729 - Gideon Mauwee, the first recorded Sachem of the Schaghticoke Tribe, signs deed to large tract of land.  

1736 - Schaghticoke population includes approximately 100 warriors. General Assembly identifies land on west side of Housatonic River as a Reserve for the Tribe, stipulating that white colonists cannot buy or sell the land.

(In 1736, by Resolve of the General. Assembly, the Colony of Connecticut recognized the occupancy of a part of the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe’s aboriginal territory consisting of the lands north of New Milford Township on the west side of the Housatonic River about  3 or 4 miles above New Fairfield Connecticut, and provided that grants laid out in violation of the resolve would confer no title.)

1740 - Shortly after white settlers established the Town of Kent, Schaghticoke population estimated at 500- 600.

1743 - Moravian missionaries build a church and school at Schaghticoke.

1752 - The General Assembly sets aside a parcel of land to supplement the Tribe's Reservation.  

(In 1752, Samuel Basset, Samuel Adams, and Roger Sherman, a committee appointed by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, completed a survey pursuant to a 1751 Resolve of the General Assembly in which a certain tract of land lying west of the Housatonic River, in what is now the Town of Kent, was laid, measured, and bounded out into farm lots in order for sale.)
(With the continuing settlement of western Connecticut  in 1752, the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut purportedly granted a substantial portion of the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe's aboriginal territory to white settlers, but reserved from use by others for the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe's use and improvement, that area being designated as the twenty fifth lot and the southerly portion of the twenty fourth lot of  the land on the west side of the Housatonic River in the Township of Kent that was surveyed in 1752)

(In May 1757, the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, in response to a boundary dispute between the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe and Azariah Pratt, the presumed owner of the northern portion of the twenty fourth lot, resurveyed and determined the dividing line between the northern and southern portions of the twenty fourth lot so as not to deprive the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe of the benefit or use of a gap or opening in the mountain which the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe used as a passageway.)

1774-1776 -  Schaghticoke men join the Continental Army, serving as scouts, signal corps, and soldiers in the Revolutionary War.  

Mid-1800s - After Tribal overseers sell off much of the Tribe's land, Reservation dwindles to several hundred mountainous acres and a resident population less than 100.

Early 1900's - New Milford Power Company signs 99 year lease for land and builds dam, flooding Tribal burial grounds, known as GODS ACRE.

1924 - 26, Connecticut Park and Forest Department assumes responsibility over Reservation from individual overseers.

1937 - United States opens Appalachian Trail on Schaghticoke land.

1941 - State transfers jurisdiction to Welfare Department.

1947 - Tribe files unsuccessful land claim with Indian Claims Commission.

1960-61 - Welfare Department refuses to provide funds to repair tribal members' homes, instead burns all but two residences on the Reservation.

1973 - Creation of Connecticut Indian Affairs Commission spearheaded by Schaghticoke.

1973 - Schaghticoke Indian (SIT) Tribe forms corporation.

1975 - SIT files claim for Kent School lands in U.S. District Court.

1981 – Schaghticoke Indian Tribe, (SIT) files Letter of Intent for federal recognition with the BIA, Petitioner #79.


1986 - The Schaghticoke Indian Tribe, (SIT) has a Splinter group calling themselves the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent Connecticut, (STNKC) and is formed by Richard L. Velky who appoints himself as "Chief for life" of the STNKC one year later.

1991 - The SIT constitution was copied and the STNKC constitution was born and the splinter group became known as the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent, Connecticut, STNKC.

1994 - The STNKC splinter group delivers Federal Recognition using the SIT's original Petition #79 to the BIA's Branch of Acknowledgment and Research.

1997 - BIA deems STNKC splinter group petition Ready for Active Consideration.

1998 - New land claims are filed in U.S. District Court.

1999 - U.S. District Court refuses to undertake judicial determination of tribal status; STNKC splinter group requests reconsideration and fails in a request for resolution through alternative dispute resolution.

2002 - The STNKC splinter group dealt a setback in recognition effort. BIA rules that STNKC splinter group failed to meet two major criteria for federal recognition, 1.- The group could not show it has maintained political authority or influence on a substantially continuous basis from historical times to the present day. 2.- The group could not provide evidence they have maintained a continuous community from historical times to the present day. The BIA's decision also determined that the original Schaghticoke Indian Tribe (SIT) is the legitimate present-day continuation of the historical Schaghticoke Tribe which possibly does meet all seven criteria.

2003 - SIT reapplies to BIA, Petition # 239

2004 - The Bureau of Indian Affairs granted federal recognition to the STNKC splinter group.

2005 - The BIA reversed its decision for the STNKC continued effort for federal recognition. Summary of the Criteria and Evidence:
"Reconsidered Final Determination Denying Federal Acknowledgment  of the Petitioner Schaghticoke Tribal Nation"

 

2006 - The STNKC sued for relief and reconsideration in Federal court


2008 - The STNKC suit was dismissed and the appeal was denied and the BIA's decision determined that the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe (SIT) is the legitimate present-day continuation of the historical Schaghticoke Tribe (page 63 of the 2005 Final Determination IBA). SIT claims will be considered by the federal government when its petitions are complete and reviewed under the acknowledgment regulations..

1/2009 - STNKC members rallied at the Connecticut state capitol, and presented a petition to Governor M. Jodi Rell 

10/19/2009 - STNKC appealed in the 2nd circuit court of NY and was Also denied.

 

10/19/2009  STNKC LOOSES AGAIN in the 2nd circuit court of appeals!  Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal comments on STNCK 2nd court appeals decision. and upholds the Judge Dorsey RFD of October 2005.

 

5/24/2010  STNKC has taken the last step available to it in its quest for federal recognition. It has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether a lower court should have considered the appearance of undue political influence as well as its actual effect on Interior Department officials, who rescinded the nation’s federal acknowledgment.

 

10/6/2010  STNKC LOOSES AGAIN in their Supreme Court appeal.  

 Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN) that sought to overturn the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) refusal to grant the group federal tribal recognition.   

            “The Supreme Court has refused to hear and overturn the Schaghticoke case. This decision should mark the end of a meritless petition for tribal recognition.

 “The BIA soundly rejected the Schaghticoke claim because the group has not existed as a continuous tribal political and social entity. Sovereign status is reserved only for groups that meet the clear federal criteria, which the Schaghticoke have failed to meet.”

 

10/2010 We, the legitimate present-day continuing historical Schaghticoke Indian Tribe, (SIT) will proceed forward with our rightful Federal Recognition process. 
 
It is now high time for our TRIBAL MEMBERS, (SIT) to come forward and step up with us and assist us with our quest to be Recognized.