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The Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe
Transcript of The Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe
The Abenaki peoples lived throughout the New England area as well as Canada. As further contact with the European colonists continued, it inevitably led to conflict. The French called on the Abenaki for aid against the English colonists and Iroquois. The Abenaki never really had interest in war and therefore were very unreliable according to documents of French Officers.
"The revitalization, preservation, and protection of our cultural, historic, and physical values and resources is the foundation upon which we stand"
The Abenaki strive to utilize their resources while committing to the greater community to achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.
On top of the war with the British colonists and Iroquois, the Abenaki also faced a terrible plague from the Europeans, which wiped out hundreds of Abenaki.
Later on the people of the the Nulhegan tribe would be listed in the Eugenics Survey of Vermont and almost lose their culture. Along with these hardships, the Abenaki people have faced discrimination since the early encounters with the Europeans settlers.
This unreliability in combat would result in a massive British/Iroquois offensive that caused the Abenaki to disband and retreat while making use of guerrilla tactics. These bands would later form the many tribes of the Abenaki which would remain in Canada, but would later begin to settle back into their lands in northern New England.
The Abenaki Legacy
Living close to water was essential for Abenaki survival.
Provided essential resources and transportation.
Most families owned a canoe and used it throughout the warm months of the year when fishing was important.
Many men would leave there homes for months of the year to go hunting and find resources for the family.
The women were responsible for raising the children and watching the house during these times.
Today the Nulhegan Abenaki are recognized by the State of Vermont as an Indian Tribe. As far as the size of the Nulhegan tribe, they are the second largest tribe in Vermont behind the Mississqoui (and growing).
In terms of tradition and culture, a lot of the old beliefs are still practiced and taught today including agricultural practices.
The Seventh Harvest Relief Project is an organization that gives produce to those less fortunate as well as teaching them about sustainability and the importance of communities.
"We are here and always have been. Be proud of who you are and your culture no matter what you face. Teach your children your traditions and show respect to your elders and ancestors. I hope that people remember me for being a good leader for the Abenaki people. History hopefully shows that I assisted in getting our people official recognition so our parents could hold their head up high as Native peoples. Nulhegan also achieved securing the first tribally held land in Vermont in almost 300 years. I hope that I have honored our ancestors and secured a future for our children. I will let History decide my efforts and the efforts of our generation of Abenaki people. Only time will tell if my efforts will have made a difference in our long term survival as a people."
-Chief Don Stevens
"If your relatives are Nulhegan then so are you…" (Don Stevens)
Agricultural practices such as mound gardening is also a huge part of the Nulhegan culture.
The Nulhegan were also well known for their impressive drumming.