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The Mohegan Tribe Celebrates Re-Opening of Tantaquidgeon Museum
Mohegan Nation (June 23, 2008) -- The Mohegan Tribe gathered together on June 18 – the birthday of the late Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon -- to celebrate the new, renovated home of The Tantaquidgeon Museum on the grounds of the Tantaquidgeon homestead on Mohegan Hill.

The Tantaquidgeon Museum is the oldest Native American owned and operated Indian museum in America. The Museum was founded in 1931 by John Tantaquidgeon, his son Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon, and his daughter Gladys, a medicine woman of the Mohegan Tribe. Blind in one eye and on crutches, John built the museum along with Harold. Gladys contributed artifacts obtained in her travels all over the country. The renovated structure blends the old and the new. It has retained the Museum’s original rustic feeling, while also offering a more up-to-date climate-controlled environment. Members of the Mohegan Tribe serve as staff and volunteers at the Museum, and can speak knowledgeably about the collection.

Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe and also its ceremonial Pipe Carrier, and John Henry Clark, Chairman of the Council of Elders, welcomed the crowd as they assembled in a clearing near a stone fireplace built many decades ago by Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon. Other members of the Tribal Council, Council of Elders, and revered individuals known by the titles of “Nonners” and “Sagamores” were also present at the ceremony. After a ribbon cutting by Chairman Bozsum and Tribal Elder Marie Pineault, members and friends of the Mohegan Tribe viewed the collection. The Tribe’s newly-named Medicine Woman, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, who was mentored by Gladys Tantaquidgeon, was also in attendance. She noted that the Museum “has always been a place where we welcomed people from all over the world. It is a rare place where people hear the stories of Native Americans from the Indians themselves. It is our responsibility and privilege as Mohegans to share our story with the world and to learn to better understand the stories of other peoples in return. This is what our Tantaquidgeon Museum is all about.”

The Museum is located at 1819 Norwich-New London Turnpike in Uncasville. It is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Wednesday through Saturday from May through November. Tours are available for groups by appointment. For more information, please contact 860.848.0594, or visit the Tribe’s website at www.mohegan.nsn.us.

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