Times Record interviews Pawling in Smith obituary

In an obituary for Nicholas Smith, a scholar and ethnographer who created the most extensive research on the Wabanaki tribe in existence, the Times Record interviewed Micah Pawling, associate professor of history and Native American studies, about his experience with Smith. Pawling said that his friend and former colleague would help translate treaties for the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes in the 1950s and ’60s. Pawling said Smith broke down barriers and built lasting friendships with tribal leaders through mutual trust and respect. He recalled a trip he took with Smith and Smith’s late wife to Indian Township just before the pandemic, where they reconnected with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. Pawling said it was typical to hug female elders and shake hands with male elders, but the tribal elder that had known Smith since the 1950s drew his friend close so their foreheads could touch — an ancient greeting in many cultures to honor the heart and soul of another human being.