P8guaso Land Rematriation
Agrarian Trust and an Indigenous collective are raising funds to support the long-term viability of a land rematriation project within the ancestral homelands of Nipmuc People in an area known as “Bogastow Farm.”
The land is situated just twenty two miles from the center of Boston and is part of the Charles River Basin, a sacred river which continues to be a connection for seasonal ceremony and communal stewarding.
The vision for this land is to restore the matriarchal principles of earth-centered stewardship.
This way of stewarding land:
- restores polycultural food systems and local fisheries
- shares traditional medicine and food
- reengages the spiritual foundations of agrarian and land-based livelihoods
- embraces agroecology and anti-oppression/anti-violence frameworks as pathways to food sovereignty and the rebuilding of Indigenous agro-economies
- reestablishes the sacred ties between the indigenous descendants of the land, the land, and their sacred ways of knowing through the leadership of Black-Native and Native women, femmes, and two-spirits.
An update from P8guaso
In our first 13 moons since we initiated the process of acquiring and stewarding the land at P8guaso with the support of Agrarian Trust, we have learned a lot and accomplished so much. The work that has started needs sustained community and financial support to repair the damage done from the last several hundred years and to ensure the land at P8guaso remains with its rightful stewards.
We are learning the rhythms, cycles, and seasons of the land. This land requires active caretaking and we are bringing our understanding of kinship to this place with respect for its needs as a land base. We are taking on the responsibility of caring for a place in a way that cares for future generations – feeding people and at the same time addressing climate, mitigating invasive species, and teaching children active stewardship of place and all its human and more than human kin.
We have learned an important cultural and linguistic teaching in our return home. The area is referred to locally as “Bogastow” Farm. Like many Indigenous personal and place names, English settlers misunderstand the Algonkian. Our ancestors’ name for the land was “p8guaso” (which sounds like “bôgwasso”) which means “shallow.” This word makes sense as our ancestors frequently named the land after the quality or description of nearby water, in this case the “brook” that runs along the property. These names serve the purpose of ecologically mapping the landscape. We are therefore no longer calling it “Great Black Swamp.” This is a gift that a return home has given us. We would not know it if we had not returned.
A traditional home known as a “wetu” is being constructed on the land for the first time in hundreds of years, through sustainable harvests of our important cedar relatives. In our first season on the land we grew a reclaimed flint corn, providing important seed and meal to the tribal community.
Thanks to your incredible support so far, funds have been raised to support initial land acquisition and operating costs. An initial land management plan has been made, and youth and families have already begun planting seeds, harvesting herbs and berries, weeding, trail clearing, and removing invasive species.
Additional funds are needed to fully complete building, home, and land repairs. More details can be found in our financial summary.