by Leigh Paine
The Wabanakis of Norridgewock were nomads and did not take their land for granted. The term Wabanakis refers to the Native Americans of the northeast. The Abenaki tribe was one of these groups.
The French first approached the Kennebec River from the North rather than the South(1600's). The French concentrated on winning the Abenakis over by sending over Jesuit missionaries. Those sent over were Father Biard and Father Druillette. These men gave up there lives to bring the word of god to the natives. Later, Father Rasle was sent to Norridgewock but was eventually killed along with the entire village, by the English.
On the shores and forest of Lake Ontario lived the Late Archaic people. Sometime between 2000 and 1000 B.C a rampage of killing sent the Algonquins fleeing to the east where their fellow Algonquins might extend a welcome. They were past masters of fishing and hunting. Some went farther to the coastline to fish.
In Maine, refugees settled along the St. Johns River as the Maliseet tribe. By 1600 A.D. the tribe had grown to 7000. Their close relatives, the Passamaquoddy, lived along the St. Croix River with 400 people. The Chaplain called both of the tribes, ìEtchiminî.
The seasonal shift of the tribes called for big buff males to do the job right.
Spring was the beginning of warm days and chilly nights. It was also the beginning of the flow of sweet sap from the maple and birch trees. The running of the white birch sap provided food and flavoring. The bark is flexible so they could make containers, canoes, and wigwams. Soon the fish would be running in big groups and they would use spears, nets, and weirs to catch the fish. Once the ground was thawed out they planted potatoes.
The summer brought warm temperatures and the families left their village to fish along the river. When they were night fishing, they used birch bark torch light to attract the fish. Some of the other families headed to the beaches where they could catch big fish and dig clams. The children explored the seacoast for sea bird eggs.
In fall and winter the families were back in their village. The women and children would gather nuts. While the men hunted caribou, moose, and bear with bow and arrows. Traps were also used to trap small animals.
The Wabanakis were people who used their land for many purposes. That's why I researched them.