Land Acknowledgement

It is with gratitude and humility that Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that we are learning, speaking, and gathering on the ancestral homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok or Mohican people, who are the Indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today they reside in Wisconsin and are known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors and elders past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.

As a cultural home serving the area now known as the Berkshires, we also pay our respects to the Indigenous people who continue to live in this region and exercise sovereignty: the Nipmuc to the East; the Wampanoag and Narragansett to the Southeast; the Agawam, Mohegan, Pequot, and Schaghticoke to the South; and the Abenaki to the North.

We believe it is the role of the arts to make the invisible visible. After centuries of erasure, we the stewards of Jacob’s Pillow hold the responsibility to recognize the Indigenous peoples and the land that gives Jacob’s Pillow its quintessential identity. As allies, this acknowledgement is only part of our commitment to building relationships with Indigenous artists from around the country and the world and communities who still reside in our region.

Resources & Ways to Become Involved

We invite you to learn more about the Indigenous history of our region:

“Mohican Miles” Exhibition at the Mission House Museum – Stockbridge, MA
This exhibit, by the Stockbridge­–Munsee Community’s Cultural Affairs Department in collaboration with the Trustees of Reservations, covers a wide range of topics, spanning from the history of the Tribe, to the current work of the Historic Preservation Office. “Mohican Miles.”

Please visit the website of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians and the Arvid E. Miller Library and Museum in Bowler, WI. 

The Ohketeau Cultural Center
Ohketeau is fittingly named for the Nipmuc wording meaning a place to plant and grow. They offer extensive academic and creative resources on their website pertaining to indigenous knowledge, experience, and culture, including their Living Presence of Our History series. Their mission is in support of interdisciplinary and reciprocal education, and providing an enriching, safe, creative community for the Indigenous people of this region. Visit their Take Action page to learn how to become involved. 

Visit the app below to find out about the Indigenous history of where you live:

No Loose Braids
No Loose Braids is a Nipmuc-led organization focused on continuing and reviving Eastern Woodlands traditions and cultural practices. Their mission is to braid Eastern Woodland Tribal communities together in continuity and reciprocity through traditional practice, cultural revitalization, experiential learning, knowledge sharing, and art.

Watch No Loose Braids’ documentary Land Stewardship and Reciprocity, featuring Andre Strongbearheart Gaines Jr.

Watch Jacob’s Pillow’s short film Lighting the Fire at the Eastern Woodlands Homesite.

Indigenous Programming at Festival 2024

Permanent Installation: Homesite by Andre Strongbearheart Gaines, Jr. at Jacob’s Garden
In 2022, the Pillow commissioned Andre Strongbearheart Gaines, Jr. to create a traditional Nipmuc homesite, including a mishoon-burning installation at our main entrance that was activated at multiple events during the 90th Anniversary Festival. The homesite has now been permanently relocated to Jacob’s Garden where it continues to be accessible to the public.

Shawn L. Stevens
An enrolled member of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans, Shawn L. Stevens and Friends will open Festival 2024 with his multifaceted talents as a musician, dancer, and storyteller.

Dancers of Damelahamid
Dancers of Damelahamid, the Indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, finds innovative ways to bring audiences into the art, history, language, and traditions of Indigenous culture through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carved masks, and elaborate regalia.