We respectfully acknowledge that Williams College stands on the ancestral homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans, who are the indigenous peoples of the region now called Williamstown. Following tremendous hardship after being forced from their valued homelands, they continued as a sovereign Tribal Nation in Wisconsin, which is where they reside today. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.
About the Community
The Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s Historic Preservation Extension Office opened in Fall 2020 on Spring Street thanks to a historic partnership with the College. The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI) serves as the official liaison. This Tribal Government-College partnership with Williams is a model that is unique and evolving.
The College is located upon the homelands of the Muhheconeew, or Mohican Nation, today known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.
After colonists displaced the Mohicans from their homelands in the 1780s, notably with the direct involvement of Ephraim Williams Sr., the Oneida invited the Nation to their territory in western New York. However, following continued pressure from colonists in New York state, Mohican sachems were eventually removed again to Wisconsin, where they signed a treaty in 1856 with the Menominee Nation and the US Government. Despite this dispossession and hardship, members of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community persist as a federally recognized Tribal Nation and have always placed great value in returning to their northeastern homelands.
The Historic Preservation Office works to protect Mohican past, present, and future through safeguarding cultural heritage sites, conducting archaeological research, and repatriating ancestors and culturally significant items.