Welcome to the People of the First Light blog!
We are launching this blog as a place to share all kinds of information as it relates to our core exhibit, People of the First Light. When a museum exhibit attempts to tell the full story of the history and culture of a people, there is always much more than can fit in the actual exhibit. So, thanks to the virtual universe, we are looking forward to deepening and broadening the stories introduced through the exhibit.
This might include stories of shared history, the landscape of the Wabanaki homeland, the diversity of Wabanaki art forms, or updates on the current issues introduced in the exhibit. It will be a place where guest bloggers will share their perspectives. And we welcome reader questions – what would you like to learn more about?
Faithful to the decolonizing framework that shaped People of the First Light, this blog will emphasize Wabanaki perspectives and will connect readers to Wabanaki sources for further learning.
The Wabanaki are a confederacy of tribes that includes the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations.
The Wabanaki have been here, in their homeland, for thousands of generations. There are approximately 8,500 Wabanaki people in Maine today, and more than 65,000 Wabanaki across eastern Canada and northern New England.
Unlike many tribes in the eastern United States, the Wabanaki were never removed from their homeland. They have retained their languages and their culture, adapting to changing environments for thousands of years.
Among the first Native Americans to encounter Europeans more than five hundred years ago, their recent history is one of both great loss and great survival.
Wabanaki people today are engaged in ongoing efforts to protect their sovereignty, to address human rights issues, and to preserve and support their language, culture, and economies.
People of the First Light is a blog created by the Abbe Museum to share stories connected to or inspired by our exhibit of the same name.