Nipmuc Nation | TeeHC Open
We would like to acknowledge that the land in Grafton that we are using to host the TeeHC Open is the traditional territory of many known First Nations peoples, namely the Nipmuc nation.
Nipmuc history in what is now Worcester County predates any written records. During the 1600s, the original inhabitants of Worcester dwelled principally in three locations, Pakachoag, Tataesset, and Wigwam Hill. The center of Nipmuc community life was and is at Hassanamesit, in present-day Grafton, Massachusetts.
The majority of the Hassanamesit Nipmuc reservation, near today’s town of Grafton, was sold to English families. These funds were to be distributed to the Nipmuc people as needed, but records indicate that this likely never happened.
Treaties and deals like the Lancaster Purchase (1643); the Tantiusque Deed (1644); and the Eliot and Brookfield Purchases (1655) all resulted in the loss of Nipmuc land, and unregulated settlement took even more.
Most of the original land ended up being sold off to English families, and by the end of the 19th century, only a few areas of Grafton remained in possession of direct descendants of Nipmuc landholders.
For American Indians, the land is a seed that houses their bloodlines and in return creates their people’s culture. With it, Natives carry their ancestors and honor one another. It is, therefore, our duty to acknowledge the land we are standing on to share the TeeHC Open together with you.
We welcome the Eastern Medicine Singers and the Nipmuc Chiefs to bless our event with a traditional land acknowledgment ceremony.