“Revolutionizing Education: Incorporating Untold Stories into American History Curriculum”


Located in a rural farmhouse near present-day Deansboro, New York, approximately miles southwest of Utica, a new nation was established. This marked the first American republic to be founded following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. The families who comprised this nation hailed from seven distinct tribes along the Northeastern Seaboard: Narragansett, Niantic, Groton Pequot, Stonington Pequot, Tunxis, Montauk, and Mohegan. These families were bound together by a common Algonquian language, shared customs, and a mutual desire to distance themselves from the tumultuous colonial environment of their coastal origins. The pivotal founding moment of this nation was meticulously documented in the diary of one of its esteemed leaders.

Occom reported that the tribe underwent the process of organizing a political entity and decided to call their town Brotherton, which in Indian language was Eeyawquittoowauconnuck. They created a governing committee that would be reelected annually, assigned different roles to officials, and initiated the operation of self-governance. Subsequently, a similar process was adopted by their counterparts in Philadelphia following the implementation of the new federal Constitution. Eventually, one of these foundations gained significantly more recognition than the other. However, as a scholar and educator specializing in early-American culture and politics, I have discovered that familiarizing oneself with both narratives can challenge prevalent notions.

The era of the American Revolution was a significant occurrence in global history, coinciding with other movements for independence on the same continent. While President Abraham Lincoln likened it to a birth of freedom, it is worth noting that the United States was not the only nation emerging during this period. Brothertown and the United States were established within a decade of each other and by , had formally recognized each other’s independence. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the founders of Brothertown had established a distinct tribal political entity.

The relationship between the Brothertown Indian Nation and the United States remains steadfast to this day. The tribe continues to uphold its founding principles, with a tribal council and a judiciary known as the Peacemakers overseeing the resolution of disputes in accordance with the Brothertown constitution. November holds significance for Brothertown citizens as the day of their national autonomy, akin to how U.S. citizens commemorate July , . The tribe has established officers and cultural institutions for engaging with external parties, including scholars such as myself. During my research on Occom for my book, I contacted a tribal historian who graciously extended an invitation for me to participate in a book-related event.

In my regular visits to Brothertown history on most Wednesdays, I have engaged in numerous discussions with friends that have gradually helped me comprehend the importance of a Native American establishment in the Revolutionary Northeast. This realization has been hindered by the conventional historical approach of dividing American history into distinct periods, starting with the pre- colonial period and followed by the early republic era, which often overlooks the ongoing presence and contributions of Native Americans. Additionally, there is a prevailing misconception among non-Native Americans that the history of Native nations is somehow separate or less significant than the mainstream narrative.

During colonial times, it was not customary for Native people to establish their nations, especially not in . Traditionally, these nations were meant to be handed down from one generation to the next and were not to be disrupted by newcomers such as the United States. Brothertown challenges these conventional notions of Indigenous identity. However, it is important to note that despite its origins as a sanctuary from colonialism, Brothertown did not aspire to imitate either Great Britain or the United States. Although both Brothertown and the United States emerged during the same era and can be considered part of the same political cohort, they do not necessarily share similar ideologies.


In light of these insights, it is crucial for us to challenge and expand our understanding of American history to fully recognize the integral role that Native American nations have played in shaping the Northeast region during the Revolutionary era and beyond. By acknowledging the ongoing presence and contributions of Native Americans, we can begin to honor their rich cultural heritage and strengthen our collective understanding of our nation’s complex history. It is through this recognition and appreciation that we can truly appreciate the full scope of the historical narrative of the United States.


Hakan Author

This is my favourite website. I hope it is your favourite too.