Indians of Connecticut

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    • The Nipmucs are native to states in the New England area, including Connecticut. The Nipmucs were called "Fresh Water People" by the European colonists, who came into contact with the Nipmucs in the 1600s. In Connecticut, the Nipmuc nation is represented by the Nipmuc Indian Association of Connecticut, or NIAC. As of May 2011 the population of the Nipmuc Nation is more than 2,000 members; NIAC says the Nipmuc constituency is spread throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Most Nipmucs in Connecticut live in the northeastern region of the state.


    • Sequin Native Americans, also known to European settlers as "River Indians," were a collection of tribes who lived in and around the Connecticut River Valley in the southern region of the state. The tribes who were recognized as Sequin Indians are the Wangunk, Hammonasset, Tunxis, Quinnipiac, Poquonnuc, Machimoodus and Podunk. The names of the tribes derived from the river they lived near, which was usually a tributary of the Connecticut River. The only Sequin Native American tribe still in Connecticut is the Quinnipiac, which is represented by the Algonquian Confederacy of the Quinnipiac Tribal Council. The remainder of the tribes died out because of wars or disease, and others left Connecticut or joined other tribes.


    • The Mattabasec Native Americans were the largest of an alliance of tribes belonging to the Wappinger Confederacy, a network of Native American tribes based in eastern New York. In Connecticut, the Mattabasec tribe held dominion over what is currently the southwestern region of the state. Some of Connecticut tribes aligned with the Mattabasecs include the Unocwa, Pootatuck, Montowese and Wongunk. In the 17th century, the colony of Connecticut set aside land for the Mattabasecs at Golden Hill, which was the first Indian reservation in the New World. The modern-day city of Middletown, Connecticut, resides where the chief Mattabasec village once stood.


    • The largest Native American constituency currently in Connecticut is the Pequots. This Native American tribe spoke the Algonquian language. Two tribes represent modern-day Pequots, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. The Mashantuckets' reservation is in New London County; this tribe is the operator of the Foxwoods Resort Casino ( Also, the Mashantucket Pequots are Connecticut's only federally recognized Native American tribe, according to the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation was birthed from a merger between the Eastern Pequots and Paucatuck Eastern Pequots. As of May 2011 the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation has not received federal recognition.

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