Community Singing of Indian Melodies at All Nations Church July 28

The Brotherton Indian Nation from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and the Twin Cities Shape Note Community will host a “Community Singing of Indian Melodies” at All Nations Church, 1515 E. 23rd St, Minneapolis, on Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Here is a seven-minute video of the singing.)

According to the Facebook event:

The Brothertown Indian Nation and the Twin Cities Shape Note Community present a community singing of Indian Melodies (1845) by Thomas Commuck, a Brothertown Indian of Narragansett descent.

Commuck is thought to be the first Native composer to publish in “Euroamerican” notation. His 1845 Indian Melodies celebrates the rich tradition of Brothertown hymn singing. The tunebook was published with shaped note heads, signifying a style of early American singing still practiced in shape note communities today.

Songs from Indian Melodies will be interwoven with stories and histories of the Brothertown Indian Nation. All who feel moved to share this day are welcome — Singers and non-singers alike!

Questions? Contact indianmelodies1845@gmail.com.

History of the Brotherton Indians

According to the Brotherton’s website:

[The Brotherton’s] came together in the 1700s under the leadership of Samson Occom, as a means of continuing our common culture and identity. The Tribe descends from Christian Indians of the Mohegan, Pequot, Niantic, Narragansett, Montaukett, and Tunxis tribes from seven separate Indian villages in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island, New York.

We are an amalgamation of indigenous peoples, as are many tribes. Coercive and short-sighted Indian policies implemented by colonial governments and the U.S. government have resulted in the takeover of millions of acres of Indian land, and changed the make up of many Indian nations. Some nations have had amalgamation forced upon them; some have accepted it; we chose it.

Our parent tribes are all Algonquian. Long before Euroamerican settlements, our six parent tribes had a shared history.

In 1832, after having moved 4 times in 60 years, we came to the eastern shores of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, migrating west with the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe and members of the Oneida Indian Nation.

Click on the Brotherton’s website for more details on their history and current community.

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