Today is Indigenous People’s Day. Let’s remember the original name for Northern New England and Maritime Canada is Wabanakik, or Dawnland, it is the traditional and unceded territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Theirs are the original stories that populate these land and water - the mysterious creatures and beings that they knew are still here and so are their stories. The Wabanaki have long known about many races of magical little people somewhat like leprechauns & elves, and underwater people somewhat like European mermaids, river & lake serpents like the sailors’ sea serpents, and others like the Chenoo (Wendigo), great birds & fearsome monsters of mountains and the night like Pamola. If you’re interested in mysterious creatures, monsters, or magical beings I encourage you to dig into the truth of indigenous origins of the stories of the mysterious creatures and beings that live here in North America. Today, the stories we hear on the internet and from non-indigenous people of these beings are far from the original and the names have been misapplied. In my book “Mythical Creatures of Maine” I have delved into the anthropological records of these creatures to help correct some of these misconceptions and help these stories not be lost - it is a good place to start. But better yet go directly to the source - the Wabanki are still around and have many fine resources for cultural outreach, museums, and storytellers. Seek these out - seek these people out.
The Wabanaki Confederacy is a union of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, Micmac, and Maliseet nations. They are the past, present, and future caretakers of this land. Historically the language around myth and Native people has been quite harmful. Religious and racial hierarchies led to horrible policies of colonization and cultural destruction. The continued practice of Wabanaki culture and beliefs are important, valid, and should be honored. Only respect and sharing is intended in my book.
If you are not in this area, your home has similar stories find out what indigenous land you are on at: https://native-land.ca/