The M'heakannuck Nations at Nu Schodack are related multi-generational families whose ancesters lived in what is now the northeastern United States prior to the European influx in the 1600s, especially in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
We are still here.
The family of the Sagamore Michael J. D'Amico, Tunxis, began returning to Manhattan, the Bronx and other parts of New York City from Farmington, CT in the 1920s.
Some of the ancestors joined relatives in Farmington, CT as a result of the "Dutch Wars" which began with the 1643 Pavonia Massacre near the present day intersection of Pine Street and Johnston Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, during the term of the New Amsterdam Governor, Willem Kieft.
The people in Farmington, CT originated with the migration of Esopus families [formerly a branch of the Munsee] from the Esopus River area and families of the M'hiacan proper, both from what was then Nu Schodack and is now the Kingston, NY area, prior to the Haudenosaunee efforts to be peaceful. They were called Tunxis or Watunxis Esopus in the Treaty of Farmington of 1640 and included families from 34 different nations at that time including the Six Nations and 4 L/D/Nakota nations.
Other families are located in northwestern Connecticut [the 4 Sisters], Hartford, CT [Luc-Luc band], eastern Massachusetts, the Greater New York Metropolitan region, Syracuse, Maine, Florida, and the West Coast.
Where we come from:
The M'heakannuck do not have a creation story like other nations. We moved prior to the disaster which destroyed the land where we were living. We were aware of the dangers to our culture and our survival. We had our stories prior to our move to the island continent. Our prepared moves are probably one of the reasons we remember more than many.
Remembering is also an accepted task we were given prior to the disaster.
Several versions of the story of our origins have been included as they contain different information. Perhaps some day they will be combined.
It takes approximately 40 years of experience for a person to begin to adequately function as a M'hican leader.
A Sagamore serves for life. Their primary function is to make sure the people are fed, sheltered and clothed.
They do not decide policy except in emergencies but are respected for their wisdom in many areas.
A Sagamore is trained in being aware, compassion, diplomacy, martial arts, medicine, interpersonal skills, law, leadership, logistics, psychology, managerial skills, etc.
A child's training in a craft begins around age 6-7. This is also true with leadership training.
However, the time at the end of World War II was one of great change and our leaders were aware of the tremendous peril indigenous faced.
Therefore, the training of Michael J. D'Amico began at birth. He was one of about a half dozen being so trained.
Cousin Billy, William Morris Lewis, son of William Kelley Lewis, the Peace Sagamore, was the leading candidate to succeed his father.
Unfortunately, Billy and cousin Morris were killed at a grade crossing returning to active duty at Floyd Bennett Field Thanksgiving weekend in 1955.
In 1967, Uncle Bill was heart attacked in February, Aunt Muddie, clan mother walked on in March,
Uncle Truc, oldest sibling and clan leader in July, and Barney, aka Bernard Aloysius Livingstone Lewis, Owaya Sagamore, was heart attacked August 1967.
By the end of the Nam conflict, there was only one replacement still being trained.
Barney Lewis - Owaya Sagamore
Wolf, Hawk, Bear
The bear is the leadership/medicine clan of the M'heakannuck.
The wolf clan is predominantely along the M'heakannituck.
The bird nations live along the Atlantic coast.
Wicawau Sagamore is the leader of all the M'heakannuck who recognize themselves as M'heakannuck.
Bernard Aloysius Livingstone Lewis
May 13, 1905 - August 10, 1967