2014 marks an important moment in history: the 400th anniversary of a series of significant events in 1614 that linked the Native American Communities of the Northeast to New Netherland, the Dutch colony founded in that year.
- The contact and agreements in 1614 between traders from New Netherlands and the Native American Communities represented the first structural contact with Europeans. Trade, rather than colonization, was the reason for the continuous contact and conditions for cooperation.
- These agreements were based on mutual respect and understanding, representing a “win-win” for the traders and the Communities. Without these trading agreements, New Netherlands would likely not been founded.
- This contact represented a “tipping point” in the way of life for the Native American Communities. It represents the moment at which the Communities came to realize that the white men were likely to stay.
- Looking back at this past offers an opportunity to make a bridge to the present, the future, the revitalization of the Native American Communities and to renewed sovereign nation building.