Nov 4, 2021, 12:00 pmNov 5, 2021, 3:00 pm
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 209 and via Zoom



Event Description
November 4 and 5, 2021 Munsee Language Symposium Lunaapahkiing, Huluniixsuwaakan, Lunaapeewak (Munsee Land, Munsee Language, Munsee People)

Munsee Language Symposium

This inaugural event will put Princeton faculty and students in direct dialogue with members of the Munsee-Delaware Nation to learn about Munsee language, history, and culture. Speakers include Karen Mosko and Ian McCallum, language keepers from the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Ontario, as well as historian Chief Mark Peters, among others.

Indigenous language revitalization counteracts the violent history of settler colonial regimes, including boarding schools where Native children were forced to speak English exclusively. We aim to make this an annual event in ongoing support of Lunaape language revitalization efforts. Pre-registration is required for each event. Registrations will be confirmed via email on a first come, first served basis. Registrants must be confirmed to attend.


4-5 Shayeewi Koon Niipaahum (First Snow Moon) 2021.

On Lunaapahkiing, at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.

Nov. 4, 2021

In person; registration required. Scheide Caldwell House, Room 209, Princeton University.

Noon to 1:30 p.m. • Munsee Language Symposium
  • Karen Mosko (Munsee Delaware Nation)
  • Ian McCallum (Munsee Delaware Nation)

Register for this session.

Nov. 5, 2021

Via Zoom; registration required.

10 a.m. to Noon • Language and Culture circle
  • Karen Mosko (Munsee Delaware Nation)
  • Clan Mother Molly Miller (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians)
  • Ian McCallum (Munsee Delaware Nation)
  • Kala Djpremo Ligon (Sandhill and Navesink descendant)
  • Brief introduction: Sarah Rivett
  • Facilitator: Suzanne Conklin Akbari
1 to 3 p.m. • Wampum and History circle
  • Chief Mark Peters (Munsee Delaware Nation)
  • Chief Harry Wallace (Unkechaug Nation)
  • Tecumseh Ceaser (Matinecock, Montaukett, and Unkechaug Nation)
  • Ian McCallum (Munsee Delaware Nation)
  • Facilitator: Robbie Richardson (Pabineau First Nation)

Register for the Munsee Language Symposium, Day 2 (Zoom).


Karen Mosko

I was born and raised on Munsee-Delaware Nation. I didn’t learn my Lunaape language from a young age because we had very few people who spoke our language. Some say my grandfather, William B. Dolson, was the last fluent Lunaape language speaker. This shocks me because we lived with my grandfather when we were children, and I don’t remember hearing him speak anything besides English. But I am definitely honoured to carry on his work.

In 2004 I attended a Lunaape language class with my mom that was taught in our community. The first time I spoke those powerful Lunaape words, I knew my purpose in life was to revitalize our language so it would never be lost. My mom and I attended the first of many Lunaape Language Teacher's Academy (Lunaapeewiixsiitiht Sheshkoolhalluweesak Eehakehkiingeewaniikaan), which was held in Delaware Nation. At that point, Delaware Nation had less than 15 fluent Lunaape speakers and Munsee-Delaware Nation had none. After that, I taught weekly classes with my mom in Munsee-Delaware Nation. We started out teaching wherever we could find space: store fronts, council chambers, health building, community centres, Wulaawsuwiikaan (the former healing lodge), etc. Before the pandemic, we were teaching at the Munsee-Delaware Nation Council Chambers. Over the past 10 years I have taught classes to communities in Ontario (Windsor and London), New Jersey (Mahwah), and New York (Kingston, New York City).

I am blessed to be led by my ancestors to teach our language. This is a path that I will walk for the rest of my life.

Clan Mother Molly Miller

Molly Miller, whose Munsee name is Wasalaangweew (Bright Star), is a clan mother among the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. As a clan mother and member of the Language and Culture Committee, today, Molly works to revitalize the Mohican language, culture, and community. Culture to Molly means trying to live the way of the seven teachings, with respect being the number one value. The others are honesty, love, bravery, humility, truth, and wisdom. Molly is focusing on wisdom, because she believes this is something she can offer the younger members in her community. She wants to teach them the good things of life and help them to make healthy and wise choices in their own lives. Molly sees her role as a clan mother as an important part of her identity and daily routine. Whenever she has the chance, she greets and hugs the youth in her community. This simple gesture, Molly believes, will help her community heal. In this way, she makes sure to hug or speak with any young person she encounters. Molly has also constructed a lodge in her yard for teaching, naming and talking circles.

When she completes her master’s degree in community counseling, Molly plans to combine this formal education with Native teachings to work as a counselor with Native people. She will use the Historical Trauma Theory, which holds that Native people are still deeply wounded by what happened to their ancestors, particularly the Indian boarding school experience of the elders which were intended to destroy Native cultures, identity, and languages. In order to assimilate children into European-American culture, children were forced to speak English, cut their hair, wear uniforms, convert to Christianity and were torn from their families and violently disconnected from Native ways. Reconnecting to language is a path to heal trauma and revitalize Native culture.

The Mohican Nation is a sovereign nation with a reservation in northeastern Wisconsin; the Stockbridge-Munsee Community is located on this reservation, although enrolled tribal members live in other parts of Wisconsin, the United States and the world. During the early 1800’s, Mohicans including the Stockbridge band were forced to give up their lands in what is now New York and move many times, eventually settling in Wisconsin on land purchased from the Menominee and HoChunk. The Munsee band of Delaware Indians faced the same fate, and they joined to form Stockbridge-Munsee. Today they live on 22,139 acres in Shawano County. Mohican language is taught in the Bowler School District two days a week, which is where the majority of the students from the community attend school. The tribe also holds language classes at the Mohican Family Center on the reservation.

Ian McCallum

Ian McCallum is a member of the Munsee-Delaware First Nation, a language teacher and educator who grew up in Barrie, Ontario. He remembers his mother made sure he and his sister visited family on the reserve as much as possible as children, where his grandmother and great-grandfather spoke the language around them. Ian works with his community promoting culture, history and the Munsee language. As a PhD student in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the University of Toronto, Ian is currently researching best strategies for language revitalization for the Munsee language.

Currently serving as an Education Officer for the Indigenous Education Office at the Ontario Ministry of Education, Ian has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years in the capacity of classroom and Indigenous Education resource teacher. Ian has worked with York University providing pre-service instruction for the Faculty of Education and continues to support colleagues through work with additional qualifications courses (AQ).

Kala Dj Premo Ligon

Kala a.k.a. Dj Premo, is a highly respected local and international Dj from Monmouth County, New Jersey. Members of Lenape Communities will often refer to New Jersey as Lenapehoking, “homelands of the Lenape.” As a co-founder of Turtlegang Edutainment, Kala is bridging the gap between Urban Indians and traditional natives. TurtleGang’s mission is to raise the awareness of Lenape culture through the utilization of film and music.

Kala is a descendant of the Sand Hill Band Lenape Cherokee of New Jersey as well as the Navasink Lenape Nation. Since 2016, he has been spiritually drawn to and committed to learning his cultural language. In pursuit of this knowledge, Kala has become an important figure in the plight of Urban Indians within the tri-state and Eastern Woodland territories. Having learned the language and dialects of his ancestors, he has become a resource amongst his immediate family members. His efforts to educate and preserve the Munsee and Unami language is a part of his ongoing dedication to both local and surrounding Lenape communities.

Chief Mark Peters

Mark Peters is the Chief of the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. He has been the historian for their community for the past 30 years. He has worked in the Logging Industry in the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii on an Oil/Natural Gas Rig in Northern Alberta, as a Social Worker, and in Criminal and Family Law as a Member of the Law Society of Ontario. Much of his work is focused on determining and finding ways to exercise Inherent Indigenous Rights, which have been severely limited by Canadian Law over the past 150 years.

From Chief Mark Peters:

I live on what is known as the Munsee-Delaware Nation Reserve No.1 on the Thames River in Ontario, Canada. I have been a Chief here for four years and a Councilor for eight years in the past. Presently I am the Historian for our Nation. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and am a Member of the Laws Society of Upper Canada.

Chief Harry B. Wallace (Giwiseh Ininni)

Harry B. Wallace is the currently elected Chief of the Unkechaug Nation and has served as Chief of the Unkechaug Indian Nation for 25 years.

Wallace has represented in the Nation in various courts throughout the United States in Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) cases and was instrumental in the successful appeal of In Re Dupree, a 2019 Appellate Division 2d Dept decision which affirmed the assertion of exclusive jurisdiction over Indian Child Welfare cases by the Nation in New York State. He is currently in litigation against the State of New York over the rights to hunt and fish on ancient common lands without interference by the State of New York. He is also a founding member of the Long Island Intertribal Historic Preservation Task Force now known as Honor Our Indigeneous Ancestors, Inc. whose mission is to protect and preserve sacred sites and burial remains on Long Island.

He is a member of the New York State, Federal, State, Tribal Courts and Indian Nations Justice Forum which focuses on issues presented in the Courts of New York such as the enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act, recognition of Nation decisions and promoting Graves protection for unmarked burial sites in New York State. Wallace is a member of the New York State bar. He graduated cum laude, from New York Law School in 1982. Wallace was invited as a candidate for law review and his law school thesis: Eastern Indian Land Claims was published by the NYLS Law Review. He also holds an AB degree from Dartmouth College. Prior to becoming Chief, Wallace was in private practice in New York City.

Wallace is a co-founder of the Algonquian Language Revitalization Project at Stony Brook University on Long Island. The mission of ALRP is to promote, among other matters, the restoration of the Unkechaug Algonquian Language. In 2019, Wallace executed a contract to begin Unkechaug Language instruction in the Center Moriches School District, at all grade levels. In 2007, Chief Wallace signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chancellor of Stony Brook University to institute the Native People’s Scholarship Fund, fulfilling a 200-year-old promise to provide full scholarships to qualified Unkechaug Youth at one of the most prestigious Universities in the World.

Tecumseh Ceaser

Tecumseh Ceaser is a indigenous artist and cultural consultant. He is of Matinecock Turkey clan, Montaukett, and Unkechaug ancestry. Born and raised in Queens, NY, the homeland of the Matinecock, he works in the traditional medium and practice of Wampum (quahog shell) carving. He frequently collaborates with organizations to bring cultural programming to local tribes and their communities.

He currently serves as an advisor for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations, where he advocates for Indigenous Americans’ rights to member states, NGOs, and other indigenous nations. A big part of his current community work has been working on cultural revitalization, preservation, and the repatriation of stolen ancestors through the Graves Protection Warriors Society. He is currently in residence at Flushing Town Hall, Queens Museum of Art and the Green Feather Foundation. Tecumseh is based in New York City.

  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton
  • Humanities Council
  • Program in American Studies
  • Fund for Canadian Studies
  • School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Center for Culture, Society and Religion