Honoring the first residents of the land of our communities

CoDE believes that acknowledging and honoring the first stewards and residents of the land on which our communities now exist is important. Land is sacred. It allows us as humans to live, thrive and connect with each other. It shapes our identity. Honoring the indigenous people who came before us is one step to understanding the true history of our communities (the towns did not begin the date they were incorporated) and the debt we owe to members of the First Nation. It is also a pathway to forging a deeper relationship with members and descendants of the tribes that first lived in the communities we now call home.

Hebron was formerly territory of Mohegan and Wangunk tribes.

Marlborough was formerly territory of the Wangunks.

Andover was formerly territory of Mohegans and Wangunks.

Columbia was formerly territory of the Mohegans.

If you live in another town, you can find the name of the tribes who lived there first, by visiting: https://native-land.ca/

CoDE suggests:

1. Reading a Land Acknowledgement Statement at the beginning of any event or gathering held in your community. It could be something like this:

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the territory of the ________________________ Peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example.

2. Learning and understanding the history, customs, culture, and contributions of the Indigenous People who first stewarded the land on which you live. This journey could begin by using the sources of information below.

3. Exploring how you can build a relationship with the members of and descendants of the peoples who lived on land you now call home.

“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” ─ Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

For more information about the Indigenous peoples and tribes that existed and still thrive in Eastern Connecticut:




For more information about Land Acknowledgement:





Trumbull, Benjamin 1818. A Complete History of Connecticut: Civil and Ecclesiastical, from the Emigration of Its First Planters, from England, in the Year 1630, to the Year 1764; and to the Close of the Indian Wars, Volume 1. Maltry, Goldsmith & Co. and Samuel Wadsworth: New Haven (archive.org)