Visit the Mashantucket Pequot Museum on the grounds of Foxwoods Casino. The Pequot nation has taken some of the profits from the casino and built a museum dedicated to retelling the history and culture of their people. The Pequots were farmers, fishermen, and gatherers. They had a complex society and had learned to live with Mother Earth in mutual harmony. When the Dutch came in 1608 they helped them survive the harsh winters. In return the Dutch traded iron goods for beaver pelts and wampumoag which are beads made out of sea shells. As the trade flourished the tribe went further North where beaver were more plentiful and traded much sought after wampum with the Northern tribes. When the British came, they wanted to be included in this lucrative trade for the beaver pelts. That is when the problems began. By 1638 the Pequot Nation was decimated, their members given into slavery and bondage. Only a few escaped to survive. In 1983 the Federal Government recognized the existence of the Mashantuck Pequot Nation. Today they are thriving, having one of the largest casinos in the world. Their profits, managed by the tribal council are used to improve physical and social services among the tribe and even outreach programs to other Native American groups. What took thirty years to destroy took only twenty years of hard work to restore.
Even if you spend over six hours at the museum you will not able to see everything. The admission includes interactive videos about various aspects of their lives. There is a life sized village with audio descriptions at over twenty-five different sites showing various aspects of Pequot home life. A movie shown on a wrap around screen shows the Pequot Wars and the destruction of the people. Outside is a 1780 Pequot Farmstead two acres in size with vegetable and herbal gardens and other plants, which the tribe used in their daily lives.