Maine, United States

The Land - No. 9 / SIMPLE
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The Land - No. 9 / SIMPLE

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Each year we spend time in various locations photographing the different collections found in Making. With every destination comes a rich history, one full of biodiversity, landscape, craft, and the Indigenous people that first cared for the land and have done so for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.

A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that gives recognition and respect to the Indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of the land. 

We’ve also compiled a list of books, links, and other resources below that we’ve found helpful in our learning. We encourage you to explore these and learn more about the tribes, land, and history of where you live and travel.

No. 9 / SIMPLE

We photographed this issue on the beaches of Phippsburg, Maine, on the traditional homelands of the people of the Abenaki tribe. The Abenaki tribe is composed of many smaller groups and tribes spread over New England and Eastern Canada, all speaking related dialects of the Algonquian language – Algonquian meaning “people from the east.” Phippsburg was one of the summer villages of the tribe and a place of fishing, hunting, farming, and gathering.

The Abenaki are known for their use of birch bark and distinctive dress, including embellished and pointed hoods and jackets they wore, canoes, basketry, and other artistic handcrafts and textiles. Today there are over 10,000 descendants of the Abenaki living throughout New England and Canada, keeping the history and heritage of their tribes alive.

The Abenaki

The Abenaki, known as Wabanki in their native language, meaning "People of the Dawn Land", are part of the Northeast Woodland Native American Culture Group with their tribal homelands stretching from Canada and Maine all the way to West Virginia. The Abenaki consist of several groups, including the Eastern Abenaki, Maritime Abenaki, Western Abenaki, and the Canadian Abenaki. Among these groups are many bands. They have occupied these lands far before explorers arrived and settled. The Abenaki people endured a long history of expulsion by the French and British, beginning in 1534 when the French began the colonization of New France. In more recent history, the Abenaki have come together after their original tribes were decimated by colonization, war, and disease.

These were the historical lands of the Abenaki tribe prior to their involuntary expulsion. They continue to hold the stories of the tribe and are striving for survival and recognition. Making honors and respects the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to these lands where we have gathered and photographed.


The Voice of the Dawn by Frederick Matthew Wiseman
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children by Joseph Bruchac and Michael J. Caduto

Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume by Bruce J. Bourque and Lauren La Bar

Links and Sources

Native Artifact: The Evolution Of Abenaki Clothing
Abenaki Tribe
Abenaki History
Exploring & Sharing the Wabanaki History of Interior New England