Teaching Native American Studies

Mohegan Tribe

Mohegan Tribe

Image courtesy of the Mohegan Tribe

The ancestral homelands and current reservation of the Mohegan Tribe is located on the Massapequotuck (Thames River) in Uncasville. The Mohegan Tribe is a sovereign, federally recognized Indian Nation, with its own constitution and government. The Mohegan Tribe is self-governing with an elected Tribal Council and Council of Elders. Additionally, the Tribe is served by its Chief and many administrative departments that oversee the everyday function of the reservation and provide for Tribal members.

In the 17th century, with an increase of English encroachment, the spread of European diseases, and the threat to overrun Indigenous people by immigrants, difficult choices had to be made. Uncas and his followers settled at Fort Shantok, separating from his Pequot Tribe. Uncas became the first Mohegan Sachem, seeking a path of cooperation, rather than conflict — thus began the Mohegan Way.

Since that time, the Mohegan Way has been passed down to each generation. Today, it means that the Mohegan Tribe continues to live and work cooperatively both within the Tribe and with the non-Indian community.