The Untold Stories

The historical events, forces, and institutions of racism, sexism, inequality, and genocide thread through Acadia's landscape just like everywhere else. These are stories that often remain untold. Sometimes this is because history is often written by those who benefited from it, and the lives of women and people of color are often only found between the lines of written history. Other times it's because these stories may challenge our narratives of how things came to be.

The story of the European colonization and settlement of coastal Maine is also the story of Wabanaki people who's strength and resilience ensured the survival of native people who still live here and throughout Maine, and continue to keep their traditions alive for future generations. Between the lines of the sidewalks and trails built by the civic groups that created Acadia National Park, is their role in relocating and banning the seasonal Wabanaki encampments from locations the association deemed necessary for other uses like hotels and wharves. Behind the achievements of Charles W. Eliot, a primary founder of Acadia, is his work as a prominent and outspoken Eugenicist, as were many in the conservation and wilderness preservation movements of the 19th century that led to the creation of the national parks. The largely white, wealthy, Christian and male institutions that surrounded the creation of Acadia National Park left the all-too-often untold stories of women, African Americans, indigenous communities and other marginalized communities on the sidelines.

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    Last updated: November 1, 2023

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