How do people confront a series of catastrophic and transformative events that threaten the very existence of their way of life? How does a culture survive a catastrophic epidemic that kills 80% of the population in two years followed by war, ecological collapse, and economic ruin? Then the survivors face a relentless and devastating cultural disintegration resulting in marginalization and even genocide. It is a perfect formula for a dystopian future only it actually happened 350 years ago. This is what the Quinnipiac people of Southern New England faced once the English colonization of their homeland, the Dawnland, began. Told through the eyes and voice of Ponaim, shaman of the People, the historical experience of the Quinnipiac during the first fifty years of the English colonization of their ancestral home during the 17th century comes glaringly to life.
James T. Powers first developed a life-long love of history while growing up in the old industrial town of Wallingford, Connecticut where he came to realize that the past was all around us and that by connecting to it we could come to better understand who we are. Following graduation from
Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, James committed himself to a career of sharing that love through the teaching of history. As an historian, archaeologist, lecturer, and educator for 40 years, throughout his career James has studied and taught about Early American history and Native American life and culture. His interest in the Quinnipiac and his desire to share the story of the Quinnipiac experience has been furthered through his research while involved in the establishment of the Quinnipiac Dawnland Museum at the Dudley Farm Museum in Guilford, Ct. where he currently serves on the board of directors and is a founding member.