The Ancient Dominions of Maine:
A Native American Oral History
Many scientists claim that our ancestors came to this land during the Jenú (Wisconsin Glaciation) around 30,000 B.C.E. across a land bridge. But, our oral traditions tell different. Before the Jenú, in the eastern woodlands, lived the Sáqwéjíjk. An elder was warned about the Jenú in a vision, and was told that to avoid a famine, that his people would have to travel far. So he gathered the Sáqwéjíjk and travelled south and west possibly as far as Anahuac (Mexica land). As the Jenú began to retreat, the Sáqwéjíjk travelled back to their original homelands, following the caribou herds. They arrived back in the eastern woodlands around 10,000 B.C.E.
The Sáqwéjíjk then spread across the land, from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains and formed many nations, which today are known as the Algonquian language speaking nations. These nations developed distinct languages, culture, and beliefs. On the east coast, in 5,000 B.C.E., from Newfoundland to Vermont, were two distinct groups of people... the Níkmaq and Alnôbak (Abenaki). The Níkmaq lived from Newfoundland to central Maine. The Alnôbak lived from central Maine to Vermont.
Some time after 5,000 B.C.E. the Betoukuag entered Newfoundland. At first they lived in close relation with the Níkmaq, but later ended in a war. Around 1,000 C.E. the Kanien'keha:ka invaded the Níkmaq lands, and to fight off this attack, the Níkmaq joined together as a tighter nation, and became known as the Míkmaq Nation. Kanien'keha:ka woman and children who were captured during the war, were to be escorted back to Kanien'keha, but, along the way the Míkmaq who were escorting, decided to take these Kanien'keha:ka woman as wives, and they settled on the Wolastoq river, and became the Wolastoqewiyik Nation.
So, now, shortly after 1,000 C.E., from Newfoundland to Vermont we have the Betoukuag, Míkmaq, Wolastoqewiyik, and Alnôbak nations. These 4 nations created the Waponahkiyik (People of the Dawn)(Wabanaki Confederacy) as a stronger defeance against the Haudenosaunee (People of the Long House)(Iroquois Confederacy).
The Betoukuag left the Waponahkiyik after a war with the Míkmaq. During the course of time there were more divisions: The Peskotomuhkatiyik (Passamaquoddy) seperated from the Wolastoqewiyik and lived along the St. Croix river. The Panwapskewiyik (Penobscot) seperated from the Wolastoqewiyik and lived along the Penobscot river. The Kennebec, Aroosaguntacook, Wawenock, Amaseconti, Rocameca, and Pigwacket all seperated from the Alnôbak. The Sokoki seperated from the Alnôbak.
So, in 1,500 C.E., from Newfoundland to Vermont, there were the Betoukuag, Míkmaq, Wolastoqewiyik, Peskotomuhkatiyik, Panwapskewiyik, Alnôbak, Kennebec, Aroosaguntacook, Wawenock, Amaseconti, Rocameca, Sokoki, and Pigwacket. But, 1,500 C.E. marked the beginning of European colonialism into this land. By 1,900 C.E., the English had destroyed the Betoukuag, Kennebec, Aroosaguntacook, Wawenock, Amaseconti, Rocameca, and Pigwacket. Today, the remaining Waponahkiyik nations are the Míkmaq, Wolastoqewiyik, Peskotomuhkatiyik, Panwapskewiyik, and Alnôbak.