Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Abenaki Tribe

Abenaki Tribe Flag

The Abenaki (or Abnaki) 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 the Maritimes of Canada, a region called Wabanaki ("Dawn Land") in the Eastern Algonquian languages. 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 as listed belowa large number of smaller bands and tribes who shared many cultural traits.


In 1614, Thomas Hunt captured 24 young Abenaki people and took them to England.[6] During the European colonization of North America, the land occupied by the Abenaki was in the area between the new colonies of English in Massachusetts and the French in Quebec. Since no party agreed to territorial boundaries, there was regular conflict among them. The Abenaki were traditionally allied with the French; during the reign of Louis XIV, Chief Assacumbuit was designated a member of the French nobility for his service.

Abenaki couple, 18th-century
Facing annihilation from English attacks and epidemics of new infectious diseases, the Abenaki started to emigrate to Quebec around 1669. The Governor of New France allocated two seigneuries (large self-administered areas similar to feudal fiefs). The first was on the Saint Francis River and is now known as the Odanak Indian Reservation; the second was founded near Bécancour and is called the Wolinak Indian Reservation.

In 1724 during Dummer's War, the English took the principal Abenaki town in Maine, Norridgewock, and killed their Catholic missionary, Father Sébastien Rale. The following year a party of English colonists led by John Lovewell, out to collect scalps to redeem for bounties offered by the Province of Massachusetts Bay, came near an Abenaki village near present-day Fryeburg, Maine. Two returning Abenaki war parties engaged the English, who withdrew after a 10-hour battle. Due to this pressure, more Abenaki emigrated to the settlement on the St. Francis River.

Because many of the Abenaki moved further north as white settlers settled around the seacoast and southern areas of New England, when they later attacked the English, they were considered raiders' invading from Canada.

No Abenaki group is a federally recognized tribe in the United States. In 2006, the state of Vermont officially recognized the Abenaki as a People, but not a Tribe. The state noted that many Abenaki had been assimilated, and only small remnants remained on reservations during and after the French and Indian War (the Seven Years War). Facing annihilation, the Abenaki began emigrating to Canada, then under French control, around 1669 where they were granted two seigneuries.

A tribal council was organized in 1976 at Swanton, Vermont, as the Sokoki-St. Francis Band of the Abenaki Nation. Vermont recognition of the council was granted that same year but was later withdrawn for unknown reasons. In 1982, they applied for nation recognition which is still pending.