The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 14, 2014

Program on the Native American Village of Otstonwakin

The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — Dr. Mary Ann Levine, an associate professor of anthropology at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, will discuss her excavations at Otstonwakin, an 18th century Native American community near Montoursville and the life of one of Otstonwakin’s prominent residents, Madame Catherine Montour at the May 15 meeting of the Northumberland County Historical Society. Dr. Levine has been a member of the faculty at Franklin and Marshall since 1998.

In an article on the Franklin & Marshall website, Dr. Levine said: “The woman who became known as Madame Montour in the New York and Pennsylvania colonial archives was born in Québec in 1667, the child of a French-Indian marriage. She spoke her mother’s central Algonquin language, her father’s French and in the course of her life she learned a variety of Algonquin and Iroquoian languages as well as English.” Madame Montour became an interpreter and eventually moved to Pennsylvania. “At this point she resided at Otstonwakin, a multinational Native American village along Lycoming Creek. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I successfully directed a project to rediscover Otstonwakin. My research project focuses on early 18th-century colonial encounters and considers the significance of Madame Montour’s Otstonwakin in the last decades of the Long Peace. The Long Peace established by William Penn stretched from the colony’s founding in 1683 until the mid-1750s.”

To be held at the Hunter House, 1150 N. Front Street, Sunbury, the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. with a brief business meeting followed by Dr. Levine’s presentation and concluding with light refreshments and some social time.  

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (570) 286-4083.