This land is part of the traditional and unsurrendered homeland of the Abenaki people where hundreds of generations have honored, entrusted, and cared for N'dakinna (the Abenaki word for "Homeland").
The page begins with a land acknowledgment to recognize, respect, honor, and affirm the Abenaki people's history, heritage, and ongoing relationship to this land. Land acknowledgments resist Indigenous erasure by raising awareness about Native American histories, perspectives and experiences that are often suppressed or forgotten. Through authentic and sustained relationships with the Abenaki community and community-informed actions, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller aims to make these words meaningful.
Since Time ImmemorialThe Western Abenaki are among the Indigenous People of what is now called Vermont, New Hampshire, parts of New York, Maine, and northern Massachusetts, and part of Quebec in Canada. Today, there are four State Recognized Western Abenaki Tribes within Vermont and two First Nations Status Tribes of Canada.
For many millennia, the Western Abenaki people have maintained a reciprocal relationship with the land and water. They developed relational land practices that sustained the natural resources and allowed for biodiversity to flourish. The Abenaki are the first stewards of this land and its legacy of conservation. Abenaki communities across New England and Canada continue to affirm cultural traditions despite having faced hundreds of years of Indigenous erasure by state, national, and colonial governments. Some of these traditions informed conservation efforts by the park’s three namesake families, as well as contemporary philosophies and strategies for conservation and land stewardship which Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and other national parks practice today.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is proud to work in partnership with state recognized Abenaki Tribes and learn from our friends at the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts and Education Center.
If you would like to learn more about Abenaki arts, culture, and history, please visit the websites listed below:
State Recognized Western Abenaki Tribes of Vermont:
Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation
Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation
Abenaki Artists Association - Promotes cultural heritage, Abenaki art, and artists
Abenaki Arts and Education - Creating awareness of Abenaki culture, curriculum resources and programs
Abenakis Helping Abenakis - Food Sovereignty, education and spiritual services for Native American people
Abenaki Trails Project - Promoting awareness and appreciation of Abenaki History
Alnôbaiwi - “...members have come together to participate in living history, song, dance, gardening, fellowship and ceremony.”
Atowi Project - Affirm Native relationships to the Land and its inhabitants, raise Indigenous voices
Circle of Courage - Youth Group
Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center - A museum with an “Abenaki village, styled to the 1850's the period when Vermonters thought that the Abenakis had disappeared…”
For more information about recognition status please read:
Indian Status. Indigenous Foundations. First Nations Studies Program. University of British Columbia.
Tribal Nations & the United States: An Introduction. National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
Indian Arts & Crafts Law of 1990. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Last updated: February 21, 2023