Long before European colonization and American rebellion created the state of Connecticut, diverse Indigenous communities called the land home. They worked its soil, traveled its reaches to trade, and established cultures rich in political, artistic, technological, spiritual, and environmental legacies that continue to evolve today. Despite war, enslavement, and prejudice, Native people have remained active agents in their own and state history. Notable figures include Robin Cassacinamon, a 17th-century Pequot sachem and diplomat, and Mohegan medicine woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon, an educator, activist, and, in 1931, co-founder of the first Native American-owned Indian museum in the US. The state-recognized sovereign nations in Connecticut are the Eastern Pequot, Golden Hill Paugussett, and Schaghticoke tribes with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan having federal recognition as well.
More on Native Americans from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. “Battlefields of the Pequot War,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Connecticut Native American Tribes,” 2012. Link.
“Connecticut State Museum of Natural History & Connecticut Archaeology Center - Norris Bull Anthropological Collection,” 2012. Link.
The Mohegan Tribe. “Heritage - Our History,” 2012. Link.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. “The Indian Mariners Project,” 2016. Link.
“The Native Northeast Portal,” n.d. Link.
“Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center,” 2016. Link.
“Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center,” 2017. Link.
The Mohegan Tribe. “Tantaquidgeon Museum,” 2012. Link.
“The Indian & Colonial Research Center,” 2016. Link.
Smith, John. “A Description of New England (1616): An Online Electronic Text Edition.” Edited by Paul Royster. Electronic Texts in American Studies, 1616. Link.
Avery, Humphry. “A Plan of the Lands in New London Sequestred for the Sole Use and Improvement of the Mohegan Indian Tribe.” 1736. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Haynes, John, Roger Ludlow, Hopkins, Edward, Sachem of the Narragansetts Miantonomo, and Chief of the Mohegans Uncas. “Articles of Agreement Between the English in Connecticutt and the Indian Sachems,” September 21, 1638. Connecticut State Library. Link.
Tinker, John. “Map - Plan of the Pequot Country and Testimony of Uncas, Casasinomon, and Wesawegun.” Manuscript Map - Photostatic Copy. Hartford, CT: Connecticut State Library, 1662. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Griswold, Hayden L., and Mathias Spiess. “Map of Connecticut Circa 1625. Indian Trails, Villages, Sachemdoms.” 1930. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Griswold, Hayden L. “Map of the State of Connecticut Showing Indian Trails, Villages and Sachemdoms.” Connecticut Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1930. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Native American Resources, Research Materials,” 2015. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “New London County Court Native Americans Collection - Inventory of Records,” 2016.
“Plan of the East Part of the Colony of Connecticut in North America: Shewing the Situation of the Lands in Controversy Between the Inhabitants of That Colony and the Moheagan Indians.” Connecticut History Illustrated. Accessed March 30, 2012. Link.
Saltonstall, Gurdon. “State of the Mohegan Fields, Lying Between the Land Granted to New-London on the South, and Norwich on the North, in Her Majesties Colony Connecticut.” Timothy Green, 1714. Connecticut History Illustrated. Link.
Yale University. “Yale Indian Papers Project,” 2007. Link.
McMullen, Ann, Russell G. Handsman, Joan A. Lester, and American Indian Archaeological Institute. A Key into the Language of Woodsplint Baskets. Washington, CT: American Indian Archaeological Institute, 1987.
Guillette, Mary E. American Indians in Connecticut; Past to Present: A Report. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Indian Affairs Council, 1979.
Den Ouden, Amy E. Beyond Conquest: Native Peoples and the Struggle for History in New England. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
Lavin, Lucianne. Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Cultures. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013.
Speck, Frank G. Decorative Art of Indian Tribes of Connecticut. Anthropological Series 10. Ottawa, Canada: Government Printing Bureau, 1915. Link.
DeForest, John W. History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850. Hartford, CT: William James Hamersley, 1853. Link.
Trumbull, J. Hammond. Indian Names of Places, Etc., in and on the Borders of Connecticut: With Interpretations of Some of Them. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1881. Link.
Bragdon, Kathleen Joan. Native People of Southern New England, 1500-1650. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.
Bragdon, Kathleen Joan. Native People of Southern New England, 1650-1775. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.
Carlson, Richard G. Rooted Like the Ash Trees: New England Indians and the Land. Naugatuck, CT: Eagle Wing Press, 1987.
Occom, Samson, and Joanna Brooks. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Demos, John. The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
Spiess, Mathias, and Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut. Committee on Historical Publications. The Indians of Connecticut. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1933.
Cave, Alfred A. The Pequot War. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.
Mandell, Daniel R. Tribe, Race, History: Native Americans in Southern New England, 1780-1880. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.