Nolumbeka Project, Jennifer Lee, Northeast Indigenous peoples
EcoJustice Radio Rituals and Traditions

Indigenous Voices from the Northeast: Past, Present and Future


EcoJustice RadioJoin our EcoJustice Radio guest, Jennifer Lee, Northern Naragansett Grandmother, bark basket maker, and culture bearer, Board Member of the Nolumbeka Project, as she provides histories, insights and perspectives of Indigenous People of the Northeast. 

PatreonAs little as $5 a month goes a long way toward supporting our production staff all year while keeping us corporate-free. Become an EcoJustice Radio patron today.

Subscribe to EcoJustice Radio:

Apple PodcastssoundcloudspotifyGoogle PodcastsYouTube

Nolumbeka Project: History and Culture of the Northeast Woodlands Indigenous Peoples

Native people inhabited the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts for more than 10,000 years. It is the homeland of many First People, all related to one another. They are called the Sokoki, Pocumtuck, Nonotuck, Woronoco, and Agawam.

Many other tribes visited and still visit this Native homeland. Among them are the Abenaki, Nipmuck, Wampanoag, Narragansett, Mohegan, Pequot, Mohican, and Mohawk. These tribes are recognized today by states or the federal government as sovereign nations.

“There was a very sophisticated culture here. In the 1700s, there were many Native people who could speak English, French, their Native language, and surrounding Native languages.”
Jennifer Lee (Northern Narragansett)

Historically, tribes gathered in this valley to trade, to fish, to plant, to participate in sacred ceremonies. The sad fact remains that during the wars waged in the colonial period, the Native people were driven from this valley. They blended into the Abenaki, Nipmuck, and Mohican tribes across the Northeast. Often, they integrated into the settler communities. Some were herbal doctors, basket makers, and carvers. They dressed like their European descendant neighbors, but kept the fire of their culture alive.

Our guest on this show is Jennifer Lee, Northern Narragansett Educator and Board member of the Nolumbeka Project, an organization dedicated to honoring the Northeastern Tribal Heritage of the Connecticut River Valley. The word Nolumbeka is Abenaki for “the calm waters between the rapids.”

STORY: A Wampanoag Thanksgiving: Stolen Land, Massacred Hope

Nolumbeka Project, Jennifer Lee, Northeast Indigenous peoples

Jennifer Lee, Grandmother, bark basket maker, and culture bearer, provides histories, insights and perspectives of Native Peoples of the Northeast. Jennifer grew up without knowledge of her Native ancestry which compelled her to seek out the true history and culture of the Northeast Woodlands Indigenous Peoples as an independent researcher. For roughly 30 years, she has held classes in her Eastern Conical Wigwam to tell the stories of Northeastern Native Peoples and share her cultural knowledge. She is co-producer with the Nolumbeka Project of the 10-part film series “Indigenous Voices.” She has been a bark basket maker for 40 years.

Carry Kim, Co-Host of EcoJustice Radio. An advocate for ecosystem restoration, indigenous lifeways, and a new humanity born of connection and compassion, she is a long-time volunteer for SoCal350, member of Ecosystem Restoration Camps, and a co-founder of the Soil Sponge Collective, a grassroots community organization dedicated to big and small scale regeneration of Mother Earth.


For an extended interview and other benefits, become an EcoJustice Radio patron at

STORY: Mohegan Story: Healing of the Forest Little People

INDIGENOUS VOICES Trailer from Robbie Leppzer on Vimeo.

Podcast Website:
Podcast Blog:
Support the Podcast:


Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Hosted by Carry Kim
Intro By: Jessica Aldridge
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats

“Historical Perspectives From The Wigwam” – Jennifer Lee (Northern Narragansett) from Robbie Leppzer on Vimeo.

Jennifer presents an historical overview about Indigenous life in the Connecticut River Valley before the European settlers arrived. She also contrasts differing world views between the Indigenous and European cultures. Her talk is visually illustrated with historical paintings and drawings depicting Indigenous life in the 1600s and 1700s.


Episode 156
Photo credit: Jennifer Lee

Published on 21 November 2022, Updated 24 November 2023

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Comment

  1. Pingback: A Wampanoag Thanksgiving: Stolen Land, Massacred Hope

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.