Resolution to Equalize Historic Preservation:
This is a grass-roots citizens' effort to inclusively preserve American heritage as embraced and stated in Massachusetts' preservation directives, and in our founding national documents.
To that end, we look to remediate the historic lack of preservation for indigenous heritage features, physical and cultural. Most immediately in need of survey, assessment and prioritization are ceremonial stone landscapes (CSLs), which lie within TCPs.
In 2008, the National Registry of Historic Places designated Sacred Hill Ceremonial Site as eligible, and including a Traditional Cultural Property district that includes Shutesbury and most of Franklin County, Massachusetts. Locations within the TCP district are pre-qualified for NRHP assessment.
Shutesbury has been called for many centuries Sanàkkômuk, "the difficult country," (Sunmuckquommock), because of its terrain. This upland haven of springs and vistas overlooks the two most fertile valleys in Massachusetts - the glacial lake area along the mid-Connecticut Valley to the west and the Quabbin to the east (formerly Swift River Valley).
A three-year study, "Quantitative Analysis of Stone Relics in a Western Massachusetts Town," was published in the Fall 2016 Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, which defines Shutesbury as a place rich in sacred sites. This study shows the ritual Algonquian design and ceremonial nature of these sacred stone sites.
In the same season, Ohio Journal of Archaeology published Moore and Weiss' report on ceremonial stone landscapes and other Native features. This study, by two industry-awarded researchers, found that the state of knowledge and preservation of Native stone relics is very poor. Moore and Weiss also studied policy on preservation of Native sacred features of all 50 states, and found that Massachusetts has the most extreme position of denial.
That's something we'd like to repair.
Shutesbury is a small town that has a lot of what other towns seldom have anymore. We mostly know each other. Our streets are very safe, quiet, and our water is clean. We enjoy extensive open spaces, forests, water places, and a high level of citizen commitment to their town. Many Shutesbury residents chose this town for its spiritual and lifestyle excellence. Many folks here are highly interested in preserving the character. For many, Shutesbury's character includes its spiritual strength and ecological health.
As many, and perhaps even more, Shutesbury residents value neighborly respect and civil society.
We share many values and we share a heritage that is inextricably entwined with the Native Nations that walked before and our neighbors today. Let us share an enriched heritage with our future generations, to whom we owe this birthright as Americans of all origins. We only stand to gain by not losing what we already have.
Taubotne kah Aquene (Thank you and Peace)