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Indigenous History Conference

Nipmuc Powow 2019 Conference organizers Alice Nash, Joyce Rain Anderson, Linda Coombs

Here it Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight
Indigenous History Conference

A Plymouth 400 Signature Event

Nine Virtual Sessions
Oct. 3-Nov. 22, 2020


Here It Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight, a signature Plymouth 400 event, is an Indigenous History Conference to inspire educators to learn about creation histories and traditional life; colonization and its aftermath; and the continued resilience and life of New England Natives today.

The virtual event, sponsored by Bridgewater State University, Plymouth 400 and the Wampanoag Advisory Council, is free of charge and offers nine weekend sessions during the months of October and November that will feature well-known experts and testimonials. If you have questions or comments, please contact


Register for the Conference



Download Conference Program of Sessions (print-friendly)  

10 to 10:30 AM (EDT)

Keynote: Here It Began: Introduction to the 2020 Indigenous History Conference

Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag)


10:30 AM to 12 noon (EDT)

Panel I: Creation Histories

Moderator: Joyce Rain Anderson (Wampanoag)


12:30 to 2 PM (EDT)

Panel II: Traditional Life

This panel will discuss/describe the philosophies behind the practices that comprised our traditional lives and cultures to dispel the existing stereotypes of our cultures being backward, primitive, simplistic, etc.

Moderator: Gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag)


10 to 10:30 AM (EDT)

Keynote: Doctrine of Discovery

Mark Charles (Navajo)


10:30 AM to 12 noon (EDT)

Panel I: Colonization in American History: Crumbling Mythological Foundations, Revealing Truths


Moderator and Speaker: Jean O’Brien (Ojibwe) 

12:30 to 2 PM (EDT)

Panel II: Colonization in American History: The “Gift” That Keeps on Taking

Moderator and Speaker: Lisa Brooks (Abenaki)

1 to 2:15 PM (EDT)

Workshop I: Reclaiming and Reviving Deep Indigenous Histories on Turtle Island

Break (15 min)

2:30 to 3:45 PM (EDT)

Workshop II: Historical Trauma: The Wounds That Won’t Heal

10 AM to 11:30 PM (EDT)

Panel I: Wampum Research and Relations


Break (15 min)

11:45 to 1 PM (EDT)

Panel II: Reconnections: Bringing Family Home


10 to 11:30 AM (EDT)

Panel I: Decolonizing Methodologies: Challenging Colonial Institutions

Moderator and Speaker:    Lisa King (Delaware)

Break (30 min)

12 to 1:30 PM (EDT)

Panel II: Standing Our Ground: Resistance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

ModeratorRae Gould (Nipmuc)

10 to 11:30 AM (EDT)

Panel I: Finding Home: Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project

Moderator and Speaker:  Jen Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock)

Break (30 min)

12 to 1:30 PM (EDT)

Panel II: Feeding Our Spirit: Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Moderator and Speaker:  Elizabeth Hoover (Mohawk)

10 to 11:30 AM (EDT)

Artists’ Roundtable: From the Ancestors’ Hands: New England Indigenous Artists

Moderator and SpeakerDawn Spears (Narragansett)

Break (30 min)

12 to 1:30 PM (EDT)

Telling Our Own Stories: Museum Roundtable: New England Tribal Museums

Moderator and Speaker:  Darius Coombs (Mashpee Wampanoag) (Wampanoag Indigenous Program/PP)

10 to 11:30 AM (EDT)

Writing Ourselves into Existence: Authors’ Roundtable: New England Native Authors and Literature

ModeratorSiobhan Senier (“Dawnland Voices”)

Break (30 min)

12 to 11:30 PM (EDT)

From Traditional Knowledge to Colonial Oversight to Indigenous Integration: Educator’s Roundtable Indian Education in New England

Moderator and SpeakerAlice Nash

Closing Plenary Sessions:

10 to 11 AM (EDT)

I: Justice for the Land

Robin Wall Kimmerer (Potawatomi)


Break (15 min)


11:15 AM to 12:15 PM (EDT)

II: Sacred Instructions

Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot)


12:15 to 12:30 PM

Ending and Continuing Thoughts

Linda Coombs and Joyce Rain Anderson


Conference Speakers

Indigenous HIstory Conference Speakers


The Indigenous History Conference, Here It Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight? features over 50 speakers. This gathering seeks to explore a wide range of topics such as traditional life, colonization, historical trauma, family research, rights, language, food sovereignty, indigenous art, literature, education and other related topics.
View Conference Speaker Biographies.

Conference Organizers

The Indigenous History Conference was organized by Linda Coombs and Joyce Rain Anderson.
View Conference Organizer Biographies.


We would like to thank our supporters.

Presenting Sponsor:

North Easton Savings Bank



Project Partners:

Plymouth 400 Logo 1620-2020
Wampanoag Advisory Committee
Bridgewater State University logo