Course Descriptions: Fall 2013 - HTY 199: Maine Indian History in the Twentieth-Century
Instructor: Micah Pawling
Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Description: Too often Native people are relegated to the distant past, leading society to have misunderstandings about indigenous communities today. This course introduces students to Wabanaki history of Maine and eastern Canada in the twentieth century. The term “Wabanaki” is an all-inclusive term that refers primarily to the Mi’kmaqs, Maliseets, Passamaquoddies, and Penobscots, along with other Abenaki groups. The tribal homeland encompasses present-day northern New England, the Maritime Provinces, and southern Quebec. We will explore the variety of ways Wabanaki experiences deviated from the national narrative on American Indians and examine when Native challenges were in lockstep with western tribes in the twentieth century. This course considers the interplay between cultural traditions and modernity. The regional scope highlights local developments. We will investigate prominent themes of resistance, accommodation, activism, sovereignty, and cultural survival. Wabanaki people were positive actors in their own affairs, not passive pawns subdued by forces beyond their control. This course will provide context to contemporary challenges Wabanaki people confront. As one tribal historian astutely noted, “I can never give up hope, as my ancestors never gave up hope.”