Resources

Maine Indians: A Web Resource List for Teachers

Tribal websites

Passamaquoddy sites

Micmac sites

Penobscot sites

Other links

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Maine Indians: A Reading Resource List for Teachers

Books for Teachers and Students

American Friends Service Committee. The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes. Maine Indian Program: Bath, Maine. 1989. This is a resource book focusing on the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Micmac and Abenaki Indians. Created for school use in grades four through eight. Divided into four sections: historical overview; lesson plans; readings; and fact sheets, giving information and materials to help educate students on the history and culture of the Indians of Maine and the Maritimes. The resource book is now out of print but is available in most libraries.  An online version can be found here at www.wabanakicollection.com.

MacDougall, Pauleena. The Penobscot Dance of Resistance. University of New Hampshire Press: Hanover, New Hampshire. 2004. This book examines how Penobscot legend, linguistics, dance, and oral tradition became “foundations of resistance” against assimilation into the dominant culture of the United States since colonial times.

McBride, Bunny & Prins, Harald. From Indian Island to Omaha Beach: The Story of Charles Shay, Penobscot Indian. Wisbee Creek Press: Bath, Maine. 2020. This book examines the service and sacrifice made by Native American soldiers and their communities in WWII, the Korean War and Cold War, focusing on the life of Charles Shay and told partly in his words. The book will be released in full in 2020; currently, certain excerpted chapters were released early to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

McBride, Bunny & Prins, Harald. Indians in Eden: Wabanaki and Rusticators on Maine’s Mount Desert Island 1840’s-1920’s. Down East Books: Rockport, Maine. 2009.  This book illustrates the interaction between the Wabanaki and the wealthy summer rusticators on Mount Desert Island when Bar Harbor was called Eden.

McBride, Bunny. Women of the Dawn.  Bison Books: Lincoln,  Nebraska. 1999. The biography of four Wabanaki women living in four different centuries; Molly Mathilde, Molly Ockett, Molly Molasses, and Molly Dellis Nelson. Appropriate for high school level students.

Mitchell, Sherri. Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, California. 2018. A narrative of Indigenous wisdom that addresses some of the crucial issues of our day, such as environmental protection and human rights.

Knockwood, Isabelle. Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, NS. Fernwood Publishing: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2001. This book focuses on the period of time when the government of Canada required all Aboriginal children to attend schools administered by churches. The author collected the firsthand experiences of forty-two survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. The fourth edition released in 2015 was updated to include reactions to the Canadian government’s official apology in 2008.

Loring, Donna. In the Shadow of the Eagle. Tilbury House Publishers: Thomaston, Maine. 2008. This book describes the struggle of the author as she works as both a representative of the Penobscot Nation and a legislator in Maine state government. Currently, Maine is the only state in the nation to have tribal representatives seated in its legislative body, although the tribal representatives do not have voting power on the house floor.

Paul, Daniel N. We Were Not the Savages. Fernwood Publishing: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2000. This text on the history of indigenous peoples details the treatment and complete displacement of the Mi’kmaq civilization at the hands of European settlers. The author’s ongoing research continues to focus on Canadian colonization records and the treatment of First Nation people into the present. The third edition is the most recent and was published in 2007.

Paul, Mihku. 20th Century PowWow Playland. Lulu Press, Inc.: Morrisville, North Carolina. 2012. This book tells stories of Maliseet heroes through poetry.

Senier, Siobhan (editor). Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, Nebraska. 2014. This anthology anthology includes both classic and contemporary literary works from ten New England indigenous nations: the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Schaghticoke, and Wampanoag. The works cover a variety of genres and historical periods.

Speck, Frank G. Penobscot Man, the Life History of a Forest Tribe in Maine. University of Maine Press: Orono, Maine. 1997 (reprint of 1940 University of Pennsylvania edition). This is the key monograph on the Penobscot. The author did fieldwork on Indian Island between 1907 and 1936. The book is broken down into four sections: Tribal Name and Habitat; Material Life; Arts, Decorative Designs, and Techniques; and Characteristics of Social Life. The 1997 reprint includes additional photos and a new preface.

Sockabasin, Allen. An Upriver Passamaquoddy. Tilbury House Publishers: Thomaston, Maine. 2007. The author utilizes his memories and oral tradition to tell the story of the isolated Passamaquoddy village in Maine that he grew up in during 1940s and 1950s, and explains why preserving the Passamaquoddy traditions and language is so critical to his people’s survival in modern times.

Books for Young Children

Francis, Lee Decora. Kunu’s Basket: A Story from Indian Island. Tilbury House Publishers: Thomaston, Maine.  2012. The story of Kunu, who wants to make a pack basket like the other men on Indian Island but has trouble until his grandfather intervenes. Appropriate for ages 8-12.

Mitchell, John Bear, et al. Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection. Fulcrum Publishing: Golden, Colorado. 2010. A graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics in 24 stories, telling cultural tales from across America. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Perrow, Angeli. Many Hands: A Penobscot Indian Story. Down East Books: Rockport, Maine. 2011. The story of Lily and how she learned a valuable lesson about pride and the spirit of community. Into the story is woven the process of basket making and a Wabanaki animal legend, as well as some words of the Penobscot language. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

Sockabasin, Allen. Thanks to the Animals. Tilbury House Publishers: Thomaston, Maine2005. The story of Little Zoo Sap was separated from his family and how the animals protected him until his father returned for him. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Soctomah, Donald. Remember Me: Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt. Tilbury House Publishers: Thomaston, Maine. 2009. The story of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boyhood summers on Campobello Island, where he met and befriended Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy elder and former chief. Appropriate for ages 3-7.

Soctomah, Donald. The Canoe Maker: David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy Birch Bark Artisan. Maine Authors Publishing: Thomaston, Maine. 2019. The story of Tobias and his father, David Moses Bridges, to find the perfect birch and to gather spruce roots, cedar, and spruce gum to build a canoe in the “old ways.” In this book, David weaves Native American storytelling into the ancient art and spirituality of canoe making, including the legend of the partridge, the first canoe maker. Appropriate for young children.

Syliboy, Alan. The Thundermaker. Nimbus Publishing: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2019.  In the book, Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility he has making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi’kmaw identity through his father’s teachings and his mother’s traditional stories. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

Whitehead, Ruth Holmes & McGee, Harold. The Micmac, How Their Ancestors Lived Five Hundred Years Ago. Nimbus Publishing Limited: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 1983. This book focuses on the heritage of the Micmac. It is divided into four sections: Abundant Forest, Rivers of Fish; Family and Community; Traditional Micmac Skills; and Medicine and Magic. Includes many illustrations. Designed for grades 4 and up.

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Videos

Gabriel Women Passamaquoddy Basketmakers. Produced by Center for the Study of Lives, University of Maine. 28 minutes. Mary Gabriel, a Passamaquoddy, talks about how she learned basketmaking from her grandmother. The video also includes interviews with Theresa Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance; Joseph Nicholas, Curator of the Waponahki Museum in Pleasant Point, Maine; and Kathleen Mundell, Traditional and Community Arts Associate of the Maine Arts Commission.

The Frog Monster. 10 minutes. This video was made by 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students of the Indian Island School and tells the legend of how the Penobscot River was created. A winner of the Maine Student Film and Video Festival 1994. This video can be incorporated into school tours of the Penobscot Primer Project gallery at the Hudson Museum. Please visit our main programs page for information about booking tours and programs. Indian Island School. The movie can be bought from the Indian Island School.

Wabanaki: A New Dawn. Produced by Dennis Kostyk and David Westphal Acadia Film Video. 28 minutes. This video looks at the struggles the Wabanaki-Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot People- are going through to maintain their traditional culture. It focuses on how the Wabanaki use their cultural and spiritual inheritance to survive and maintain their traditions.

Our Lives in Our Hands. The filmmakers: anthropologist Harald Prins and filmmaker Karen Carter. 50 minutes. A documentary on the Micmac of Northern Maine focusing on traditional brown ash woodsplint basketry.

Dawnland. 86 minutes. A documentary of Native and non-Native commissioners traveling across Maine to gather testimony and bear witness to the devastating impact of the United States’ child welfare practices on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribal communities.

First Light. 13 minutes. A documentary on the United States government’s practice of taking Native American children away from their tribes, devastating parents and denying children their traditions, culture, and identity. Available at upstanderproject.org.

The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory. 44 minutes. A documentary covering the Penobscot nation’s centuries-long legal battle with the state over their traditional territory and fishing rights. Available at sunlightmediacollective.org.

Penobscot: The People and Their River. Produced by Acadia Film Video. 28 minutes. This video focuses on the Penobscots’ relationship with the Penobscot River. Pollution and development threaten the Penobscots’ traditional way of life. The video talks about how the people of Maine and the Penobscot Nation share a common interest in the health of the river. It also discusses what must be done, and what has already been done by the Penobscot people to protect the river for everyone. The movie can be bought from the Penobscot Nation Museum.

Please see also Videos to support the teaching of Maine Indian History and Culture, or go here for more detail on the speakers in videos. These are video segments that are featured in the Maine Indian Gallery’s Native Voices kiosk. They are available online now for use in your classroom.

CD’s

Peskotomuhkati Petakihik (Passamaquoddy Thunder): Honoring the Family in Songs. Produced by the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Office. A compilation of songs sung in the Passamaquoddy language by Passamaquoddy people.

Journey of the Drum. By the Wabanaki Confederacy Singers. 2018. This CD is a celebration of the songs of the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot.

First Light, Traditional Wabanaki Music. Recorded 2000 by Scott Hetherington, sound engineer, A New Approach Studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Laura Lee Perkins-Native American Flute, Ken Green-Native American Drum.

Dreamwalk. Recorded 2005 by Rolfe Richter. Passamaquoddy flute music.