Urban Native Era

Part of our foundational staff training at the Stowe Center is reading Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life, a biography of Stowe written by Joan Hedrick. In Chapter Six an often unknown aspect of Harriet’s early activism is mentioned; 

The students at Hartford Female Seminary did concern themselves with national events. Under Catherine’s leadership, they organized on behalf of the Cherokee Indians, who in 1827 were ordered to vacate their lands in the state of Georgia. Throughout 1829 Catherine and her students were deeply involved in circulating of petitions and circulars protesting this federal action. 
Harriet describes the mounting ferment:
Last night we teachers all sat up till 11 o’clock finishing our Cherokee letters. We sent some to the principal ladies of New Haven by Martha Sherman to put in the post-office there. …The girls come and tell us such marvelous stories about ta circular for the Cherokees around in Hartford. They say public meetings and petitions are getting up in New York and other places, and here they are moving for the same. The excitement I hope is but just begun. “Great effects come from little causes.”

Harriet and Catherine Beecher used their social influence to bring attention to the displacement of the Cherokee people.  Indigenous people of North America still struggle with the colonization, terrorism, and displacement happening today.


At the Stowe Center, our Bookshop features items intended to start conversations and bring awareness and support to social justice issues and the missions of small businesses that center around them. This year I proposed a move to include more indigenous-owned brands and sentiments in our store. We recently introduced several items Urban Native Era. Their brand mission is as follows:


Urban Native Era (UNE) was started in November 2012 in San Jose, CA by Joey Montoya (Lipan Apache) who wanted to increase the visibility of Indigenous Peoples through social media.

The items featured in our shop include a beanie in both black and yellow colorways, and a square sticker, each stating “YOU ARE ON NATIVE LAND”. The ‘YAONL’ collection, as described on their website, is “A timeless statement intended to ignite conversation amongst non-Indigenous communities. ‘YAONL’ comes from an Indigenous perspective and the phrase is intended for everyone including the wearer.” The statement is clear, and bold in its confrontation of the colonizer perspective often perpetuating US history. With these items and future additions to the store, we hope to further the intersectional approach of social justice discussion and platform indigenous artists, designers, and authors. 


My name is Anna Boers, I’ve been a Visitor Center Associate at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center since March of 2022. I have degrees in studio art and psychology and have been a local resident of West Hartford since 2005. My experience in and value of early childhood education and social justice brought me to The Stowe Center after completing college.