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First Nations Assignment
Transcript of First Nations Assignment
First Nations Assignment
The Abenaki, meaning "people of dawn", are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people, one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki live in the New England region of the United States and Quebec and a region called Wabanaki ("Dawn Land") with total population of 25000. The Abenaki are one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy. "Abenaki" is a linguistic and geographic grouping; historically there was not a strong central authority, but a large number of smaller bands and tribes shared many cultural traits.
All Abenaki tribes lived a lifestyle similar to the Algonquian-speaking peoples of southern New
They cultivated crops for food, and located th
on or near fertile river floodplains. Agriculture
supplemented by hunting, fishing, and the gath
wild foods. The relative importance of fish /
depended on location. In areas of poor soil, fis
often used as fertilizer to increase the yield
They hunted deer and moose and fished in the rivers. Abenaki Indians also planted corn and beans, picked berries, and made maple syrup from tree sap.
Abenaki men wore breechcloths with leather leggings and women wore wraparound deerskin skirts. Shirts were not necessary in Abenaki culture, but in cool weather both genders wore poncho-like blouses. The Abenakis also used moccasins, cloaks, and pointed hoods. Later the Abenakis adapted European costume such as cloth blouses and jackets, decorating them with fancy beadwork.
The Abenakis didn't wear long warbonnets like the Sioux. Usually they wore a headband with a feather or two in it. Sometimes an Abenaki chief would wear a tall feathered headdress. They did not paint their faces. Abenaki women wore their hair loose or braided on top of their heads, and Abenaki men sometimes put their long hair in topknots.
other First Nations
The Abenaki traded regularly with all the other New England Indians, and they often fought with the powerful Iroquois. But their most important neighbors were the Penobscots, Passamaquoddies, Maliseets, and Micmacs. These five tribes formed an alliance called the Wabanaki Confederacy. Before this alliance, the Abenaki were not always allies with these tribes and in fact, they sometimes fought in wars. But once they joined the Confederacy, the Wabanaki tribes were never against each other. They are still allies today.
Relationship with the land
Abenaki called their homeland Ndakinna meaning “our land”. It extended across most of northern New England into the southern part of the Canadian Maritimes. The eastern Abenaki were concentrated in Maine east of New Hampshire's White Mountains, while the western Abenaki lived west of the mountains across Vermont and New Hampshire to the eastern shores of Lake Champlain. The southern boundaries of the Abenaki homeland were near the present northern border of Massachusetts.
New England settlement and war forced many of the Abenaki to retreat north into Quebec where two large communities formed at St. Francois and Becancour near Trois-Rivieves.
They survived the colonial wars of the following 200 years by balancing competing French and English interests and remained politically important despite their reduced population. The fall of New France left the Abenaki with little defence against English expansion after 1760, forcing them into weak alliances with other tribes formerly allied with the French. The American Revolution split the Eastern Abenaki from the Western Abenaki, most of whom were living in Québec. The Penobscot sided with the Passamaquoddy of eastern Maine in holding the frontier of New England for the Americans.
The English settlement of New England and frequent wars forced many Abenaki to retreat to Quebec. The Abenaki settled in the Sillery region of Quebec between 1676 and 1680, and subsequently, for about twenty years, lived on the banks of the Chaudière River near the falls, before settling in Odanak and Wôlinak in the early eighteenth century.
The name "Abenaki" was derived from the terms light and land, which mean "people in the rising sun" or "people of the East". In those days, the Abenaki practiced a subsistence economy based on hunting, fishing, trapping, berry picking and on growing corn, beans, squash, potatoes and tobacco. They also produced baskets, made of ash and sweet grass, for picking wild berries, and boiled maple sap to make syrup. Basket weaving remains a traditional activity for members of both communities.
During the Anglo-French wars, the Abenaki were allies of France, having been displaced from Ndakinna by immigrating English people. An anecdote from this period tells the story of a warrior named Nescambuit, who killed more than 140 enemies of King Louis XIV of France and received the rank of knight. Not all Abenaki natives fought on the side of the French, however; many remained on their native lands in the northern colonies. Much of the trapping was done by the people, and traded to the English colonists for durable goods.
There are approximately 2500 Abenaki living in Vermont and nearly that many in Canadian communities. In Québec, there are more than 400 Abenaki on the Odanak and Wôlinak reserves. The Musée des Abénakis, a museum that focuses on Western Abenaki history and culture, is located in Odanak.
In addition to the long-standing Abenaki communities in Québec and Maine, there are communities in Vermont and New Hampshire, especially around Lake Champlain.
Today, most Abenaki are engaged in mainstream occupations of Québec and New England. They continue to be known for the quality of their split basketry and their lively folklore. There are several organizations that exist to foster various aspects of traditional Abenaki culture and to promote broader understanding of Abenaki history and arts.
Long Term Effects
In the United States, the government does not officially recognize the Abenaki tribe. This upsets the Abenakis because they do not have hunting or fishing rights, they cannot sell arts and crafts under Indian craft laws, and other American Indians don't always recognize or cooperate with them. The Abenakis want to be recognized as a true Indian tribe, but because their ancestors often hid from the Americans or fled into Canada, they cannot prove that they lived in New England continuously since the 1600's.
The Abenakis didn't live in tepees. Most of them crafted dome-shaped, bark-covered wigwams for housing. During the winter, the Abenaki lived in small groups further inland. They lined the inside of their wigwams with bear and deer skins for warmth. Some Abenaki families preferred to build larger Iroquois-style longhouses instead. An Abenaki village contained many wigwams or longhouses, a meeting hall, and a sweat lodge. Many villages also had palisades (high log walls) around them to guard against attack.
Their religion was largely Roman Catholic. They believed that many living men and some women had their own shamanistic powers that allowed them to leave their bodies and enter the realm of the supernatural, usually in animal forms. Strange occurrences involving animals were customarily interpreted as being the acts of shamans in their animal forms.
They also believed in afterlife; the dead were buried in their best clothes in individual interments. Ideas about an afterlife were consistent with shamanistic beliefs.
(Penobscot, Kennebec, Arosaguntacook, Pigwacket/Pequawket)
(Arsigantegok, Missisquoi, Cowasuck, Sokoki, Pennacook)
Anglo French War