We Gather on Land That Is a Homeland for the Wabenaki

Durham Friends Meeting sits on land that is a homeland for the Wabenaki for centuries. Nearly all of us who regularly worship at Durham Friends live and work and play in this Wabenaki homeland.

We are in the homeland of the Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn. We extend our respect and gratitude to the many Indigenous people and their ancestors whose rich histories and vibrant communities include the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations and all of the Native communities who have lived here for thousands of generations in what is known today as Maine, New England, and the Canadian Maritimes. We make this acknowledgement aware of continual violations of water, territorial rights, and sacred sites in the Wabanaki homeland. [from the Abbe Museum website]

At its 2020 Annual Session, New England Yearly Meeting brought forward a draft Apology to Native Americans, to be considered at the 2021 Annual Session.

Below are some resources for better understanding of the Wabenaki people.

Resources at the Abbe Museum Educator Hub

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust featured presentations by Joseph Hall (a Bates College professor) and Kerry Hall (author of Notes on a Lost Flute).

Films:

  • Dawnland
  • Blood Memory
  • Penobscot: Contested River

Books:

  • Bruce Bourque, Twelve Thousand Years: American Indians in Maine
  • Lisa Brooks, Our Beloved Kin and The Common Pot
  • Kerry Hall, Notes on a Lost Flute
  • Jeanne Morningstar Kent, The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
  • Barry Lopez, The Rediscovery of North America
  • Henry Lorne Masta, Abenaki Indian Legends, Grammar and Place Names
  • Alice Mead, Giants of The Dawnland: Ancient Wabanaki Tales
  • Frederick Matthew Wiseman, The Dawn: An Autohistory of the Abenaki People
  • Wheeler, History of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell (1878), chapter 1, “Aboriginal Inhabitants”
  • Colin Woodward, Unsettled
Approximate territorial range of Eastern Abenaki groups