Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Releases Brochure on Dutch & Native American Heritage

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) released a new brochure map guide highlighting Dutch history and early interactions with Native American tribes in the Hudson  River Valley.

The new brochure joins 5 existing brochures produced by the Hudson River Valley National  Heritage Area: General HRVNHA; 19th Century Painters; Architectural Traditions in the Hudson Valley;  Landscapes & Gardens in the Hudson River Valley; and the American Revolution in the Hudson River Valley.  All 6 brochures can be downloaded as a PDF or visitors and residents can request physical brochures be mailed to them at no cost.

Scott Keller, Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area  said, “The natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources of the Hudson River Valley not only define our quality  of life but are also the reason why tourists flock to our region. This brochure highlighting the history of the  Dutch in the Hudson Valley and their interactions with the Native American tribes of the valley highlight the important history that happened here and, by visiting the numerous state historic sites related to this time  period, allow even more people to discover the nationally significant resources of our Hudson River Valley  National Heritage Area. I want to thank the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York for their  generous support of this brochure as part of the Dutch Culture USA program.”

Joost Taverne, Cultural Attaché at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New  York: “We are very pleased to support to the brochure Dutch & Native American Heritage in the Hudson River  Valley. The Hudson Valley has a rich Dutch history, which is recognizable in the many Dutch colonial houses  and names in the area, that often go unnoticed. The brochure will introduce Dutch cultural heritage in the  Hudson Valley to a new and broad audience and increase its visibility.”

Early Dutch and Native American Interactions 

Prior to European arrival, the Hudson River Valley was home to many Native American societies—from  the Munsee Indians of the lower valley (also known as Lenape), to the Mohicans and Mohawks of the upper valley. Early Dutch settlers, about one-half of whom were not ethnically Dutch, learned important survival techniques from Native Americans, and adapted many of their diplomatic, cultural, and social practices.  Manhattan retains the Munsee Indian name Mannahatta, “the island of many hills.” The Mohawk Indians were  the easternmost branch of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Iroquois),  whose structure inspired the United States’ federalist government system. Trade with the Dutch gave Native Americans access to fabrics, glass beads, and steel tools, but exposed them to decimating diseases. As the  Dutch colony grew, so did conflicts. Many tribes were forced to migrate west. Today, New York State is home  to eight federally-recognized tribes and over 220,000 people who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area program was established by Congress in 1996 and is  funded, in part, through the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The National Heritage Area expands  on traditional approaches to resource stewardship by building public and private partnerships that help  celebrate, preserve, protect, and interpret the nationally significant resources for the Hudson River Valley for  the benefit of the nation. The activities of the HRVNHA and its partners contribute $975 Million in economic  benefit, supporting 9,888 jobs in the Hudson Valley and $112 million in local and state tax revenue. The  Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state-sponsored program established by the Greenway  Act of 1991. More than 85% of municipalities within the Greenway area have designated themselves as  “Greenway Communities.” The program is designed to encourage projects and initiatives related to the  intersecting goals of natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public  access, and heritage and environmental education. It provides technical assistance and catalytic grant funding  for planning, water and land trails, and other projects that reinforce these goals. In keeping with the New York  tradition of home rule, the Greenway program has no regulatory authority and participation by municipalities in  Greenway programs and projects is entirely voluntary.

“We are very pleased to support to the brochure Dutch & Native American Heritage in the Hudson River  Valley. The Hudson Valley has a rich Dutch history, which is recognizable in the many Dutch colonial houses  and names in the area, that often go unnoticed. The brochure will introduce Dutch cultural heritage in the  Hudson Valley to a new and broad audience and increase its visibility.”   Joost Taverne, Cultural Attaché at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York