David Tall Pine White
David Tall Pine White is a member of the Nipmuc Tribe. He is known among his people as a spiritual leader and community activist. The Nipmuc referred to their original homeland as Nippenet (‘Freshwater Pond Place’) or Nippmaug (‘Freshwater Fishing Place’), which covered most of central Massachusetts, North-Eastern Connecticut and North-Western Rhode Island.
With an extensive background working with Indigenous leaders, healers and teachers from a wide variety of cultures from all over the Western Hemisphere, his focus is in supporting the preservation and sustainability of Nipmuc language and culture, creating positive change by promoting relationship and mutual understanding with all communities in the southern New England region.
“There’s a lot of wisdom and knowledge in our language,” said White, a community activist and teacher of Nipmuc language, history and culture. “Based on the observations of nature over thousands of years, it shows how our surroundings are alive and an important part of life itself. It teaches an appreciation and purpose of each living thing.”
The Nipmuc generally lived along rivers or on the shores of small lakes and seem to have occupied the area for as far back as can be told. Like other New England Algonquin, the Nipmuc were agricultural. They changed locations according to the seasons, but always remained within the bounds of their own territory. Part of their diet came from hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild food, but as a rule they did not live as well as the coastal tribes who had the luxury of seafood. Each group was ruled by its own sachem, but there was very little political organization beyond the village or band level. Few villages were fortified, so what little warfare there was had to have been low-level.