Mohegan Tribe leaders celebrate partnership with Saint Bernard School
Mohegan Tribe leaders met with school officials Wednesday at Saint Bernard School.
The event was a celebration to recognize a land agreement partnership between the school and the tribe. The land the school is on was returned to the tribe while the school remains operational.
James Gessner, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said the site has historical significance for the tribe. The location includes the site of a former school that was built on Mohegan’s historical lands.
“For The Mohegan Tribe, this land is a symbol of the enduring resilience of our people. Now, it is also a symbol of the spirit of cooperation and partnership we share with our neighbors,” Gessner said.
The school is a Catholic co-educational, college preparatory school for grades 6-12. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich announced it would auction the Montville property after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2021.
The Tribe acquired the 113-acre property which includes the site of the former St. Bernard School, after it submitted the highest bid. The sale of the property to the Mohegan Tribe was announced earlier this year.
Since then, Saint Bernard School has been leasing the school property from the tribe. It will continue to operate as an independent institution.
The event on Wednesday was the first joint public meeting since the bidding process and announcement last June. Gessner said tribal members wanted to assure the students of this community that they could continue to attend the school if they wanted to.
“We want to make sure that if the school needs anything, we may be here to assist them,” Gessner said. "It's just a new chapter in our history."