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Native Languages of the Americas: Maliseet
(Malecite, Malecites, Malisit)

Language: Maliseet-Passamaquoddy is an Algonquian language with two major dialects: Maliseet (or Malécite), spoken mostly in New Brunswick, and Passamaquoddy (or Peskotomuhkati), spoken mostly in Maine. There are 1500 speakers of both dialects combined, but most Maliseet speakers are older people, so the language is in danger unless language revival efforts can successfully restore its use among Maliseet children.

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People: The Maliseet tribe belonged to the loose confederation of eastern American Indians known as the Wabanaki Alliance, together with the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Micmac, and Abenaki Indians. The Maliseet live primarily in Canada, especially New Brunswick, with one band across the border in Maine (the US granted official recognition to the Maine tribe in 1980.) Older literature sometimes refers to them as "St. John's Indians," though they never used that term themselves. The Maliseet's own name for themselves is Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet is a Micmac word meaning someone who can't talk very well,) but today they are usually known as Maliseets or Malecites.

History: The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people were closely related neighbors who shared a common language. The French called both the Passamaquoddy and Maliseet tribes by the same French name, Etchemin, but they have always considered themselves politically independent. Europeans were frequently confused by the Native American tribes of the east coast, who were numerous, small, and frequently lived together, yet claimed to be separate nations. This is primarily because all of these tribes had been much larger and lived independently of one another before smallpox and other European diseases decimated their populations. The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, near relatives and long-time allies who spoke dialects of the same language, banded together against European and Iroquois aggression with their neighbors the Abenaki, Penobscot, and Micmac tribes. The Wabanaki Confederacy was only a loose alliance, however, and neither the Passamaquoddy nor the Maliseet nation ever gave up their sovereignty.

Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Resources
Maliseet language samples, articles, and indexed links.

Maliseet Culture and History Directory
Related links about the Maliseet people past and present.

Maliseet Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Maliseets, their language and culture.

Maliseet Culture and History

As a complement to our Maliseet language information, we would like to share our collection of indexed links about the Maliseet people and various aspects of their society. This website emphasizes Native Americans as living people with a present and a future as well as a past. Maliseet history is interesting and important, but the Maliseet are still here today, too, and we try to feature modern writers as well as traditional folklore, contemporary art as well as museum pieces, and the issues and struggles of today as well as the tragedies of yesterday. Suggestions for new links are always welcome.

Maliseet Tribal Websites

Maliseet Tobique Reservation * The Maliseet Nation at Tobique * Tobique Gaming Center:
    Webpages of the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick.
Madawaska Maliseet First Nation * Madawaska Nation Tribal Profile:
    The Madawaska First Nation of New Brunswick.
Woodstock First Nation:
    Homepage of the Woodstock Maliseet Nation of New Brunswick.
Malecites of Viger:
    Government profile of the Malecite First Nation of Quebec.
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians:
    The Maliseet tribe of Maine.
Maliseet Nation Radio:
    Radio station run by the Maliseet First Nations of New Brunswick.
Maliseet Nation Conservation Council:
    Nonprofit environmental collaboration between the six Maliseet First Nations of New Brunswick.

Maliseet Community Websites

Union of New Brunswick Indians:
    Organization serving Micmac and Maliseet First Nations.
St. John River Valley Tribal Council:
    Advising Micmac and Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick.
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs:
    Services, education and outreach for Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Maliseet First Nations in Canada.
Micmac-Maliseet Institute:
    Aboriginal Studies Centre at the University of New Brunswick, specializing in Micmac and Maliseet cultural scholarship.
First Peoples: Malecites:
    Information about the Malecite Indians of Quebec.
    Maintaining the integrity and way of life of the Wabanaki Nations.
First Nations Education Council:
    Organization dedicated to supporting indigenous schools and students in Quebec First Nations.
Aroostook County's Tribal Leaders:
    Interview with Brenda Commander and Rick Getchell, chiefs of the Micmac and Maliseet tribes of Maine.
Kenneth D. Paul * Native Herbalist:
    Personal pages of individual Maliseet people.

Maps of Maliseet Lands

Native Americans of New England:
    Map showing the location of early Malecite and New England Indian territory.
First Nations Map: * Location of Amerindian Communities:
    Maps of the Maliseet First Nations of Quebec.
Maine Native American Culture:
    Historical maps and timeline for the Maliseets and other Native Americans of Maine.
Maine Indian Maps:
    Tribal map showing the original territory of the Maliseet Indians and their neighbors.

Maliseet Lifestyle and Tradition

Micmac and Maliseet: First Nations of the Maritimes:
    Essays about the native people of New Brunswick.
    History of the Maliseet people in Canada.
Quebec History: Malecite Indians:
    Anthropology text on the Maliseet people.
Quebec First Nations: Malécite:
    The semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Maliseet Indians.
    Maliseet culture and traditions in Quebec.
Canoeing Cultures: Maliseet:
    Abenaki and Maliseet canoe-building and traditional culture.
Micmac and Maliseet Powwows:
    Mi'kmaq and Maliseet dances, songs, drums, and mawiomi (powwow).
The Malecite:
    Fishing renaissance among the Malecites of Quebec.
Nicholas Smith Maliseet Collection:
    Collection of Maliseet photographs by a Maine historian.
Maliseet Corn Soup Recipe * Mint Leaf Tea:
    Maliseet recipes.
John Bernard:
    Biography of a Maliseet entrepeneur.
Wabanaki License Plate:
    Tribal license plate issued to Wabanaki people in Maine.

Maliseet Artifacts and Cultural Objects

Maliseet Artifacts * Aboriginal Heritage: Maliseet * Snowshoes, A Gift From Gluskabe:
    Pictures of Maliseet baskets, jewelry, tools, snowshoes, pipes, and cradleboards.
Wampum * Wampum History:
    Wampum and its importance to traditional Maliseet life.
Maliseet Clothing * Maliseet Peaked Cap * Native Clothing Styles * Beaded Headbands * Native Hair:
    Pictures and descriptions of traditional Maliseet and other Native American dress.
Algonquian Housing (Wigwams) * Native American Weapons * Wabanaki Indian Food:
    Maliseet and other Native American shelter, food, and artifacts.
Maliseet Games * Maliseet Doll * Malécite Doll * Maliseet Dice Game * Waltes: * Maliseet Moose Call:
    Maliseet Indian games, dolls, toys, and musical instruments.
Madawaska First Nation Flag * Houlton Band Maliseet Flag:
    Maliseet tribal flags.

Maliseet Religion and Myth

Koluskap Stories and other Maliseet Legends:
    Collection of Maliseet Indian legends and folktales.
Kluskap Tales from the Malecite * Miscellaneous Malecite Tales * Micmac/Maliseet Storytelling:
    Mythology of the Maliseets.
Seeking Native American Spirituality * Micmac and Maliseet Spirit Traditions:
    Information about Micmac and Maliseet religion and spirituality.
Indian Medicine in New Brunswick:
    Anthropology article about traditional Maliseet shamanism.

Maliseet Literature and Arts

Malecite Authors:
    Maliseet writers, their lives and work.
Craftwork of the Maritimes:
    Overview of Micmac and Maliseet traditional artwork.
Maine Native American Basketmaking * Maine Indian Baskets:
    Maliseet and other Maine Indian splint basketry.
Brilliantly Beaded:
    Beadwork of the Maliseets and other Northeast American Indians.
Micmac Quillboxes * Porcupine Quill Decoration on Birch Bark * Porcupine Quill Embroidery:
    Beautiful quill embroidery of the Maliseet and other Wabanaki Indians.
Edward Ned Bear * Masks of Ned Bear:
    Woodcarvings by a Maliseet artist.
Dozay's Native Art Gallery:
    Drawings and paintings by contemporary Maliseet artist Dozay (Arlene Christmas).
Artist Shirley Bear Receives Order of Canada * Sweetgrass: Shirley Bear:
    Maliseet poet and painter Shirley Bear (Minqon Minqon).
Rocky Paul Wiseman:
    Music by a Fredericton Maliseet singer.
Maliseet Honor Song:
    Music by a Tobique Maliseet drum circle.
Native American Crafts:
    Information, photographs and links about Maliseet and other native art.

Maliseet Politics, Issues, and News

Wabanaki Legal News:
    Legal information, news and support for the American Indians of Maine.
Micmac Maliseet Nation News:
    Information about the newspaper here, but the articles are not available online.
Protecting Maine Rivers * River Summit at Indian Island * Tribal Stewardship:
    Maliseet and other Maine Indian efforts to protect their environment from dioxin and mercury pollution.
The Marshall Judgement * Native Rights * Mikmaq and Maliseet Indian Nations Attacked:
    Burnt Church Fishery * Marshall v. Canada:
    The Marshall decision and the struggle for Micmac and Maliseet indigenous treaty rights in Canada.
Possible Ancient Native Burial Site Found:
    Opinions about the excavation of an ancient Maliseet archaeological site in New Brunswick.
Native American Human Remains * Important Change in Maine Law :
    Repatriation of Maliseet and other American Indian human remains in Maine.
Tobique Land Claim Settlement * Tobique First Nation Receives $39 Million in Claims:
    News articles on Maliseet First Nation land claim settlements in Canada.
Maine House Bans the Word 'Squaw' * The "Squaw" Word * Squaw:
    Bill to Ban 'Squaw' from Place Names * Northeast Wigwam: Squaw Names * Hurtful Words:
    The fight by Maine Indians to rename landmarks with the word squaw in them.
Maliseets Get Their Day in Court * Child Welfare and Race:
    Articles about the Maliseet struggle in Maine to win control over their own child welfare system.
Eagle Feathers Denied at Border:
    Clashes between US customs officials, Micmac and Maliseet Indians.
The Wabanaki Challenge:
    Cross-border Passamaquoddy and Maliseet relations and legal issues.
Sandra Lovelace * Human Rights Committee Decision * Native Women Honoured for Human Rights Fight:
    The successful fight of Malecite and other Canadian Indian women to regain their official status.
A National Disgrace:
    Editorial addressing problems facing Micmac and Maliseet natives of New Brunswick.
Maliseet First Nation celebrates translation of Bible:
    Article on a Maliseet language preservation project in Canada.

Maliseet History

Abenaki History:
    Tribal history of the Maliseet and other Wabanaki peoples.
Woodstock First Nation History:
    History of the Woodstock Maliseet First Nation.
Maine Timeline of Native American Culture * The Wabanaki Indian Collection * Ready to Tell Overdue Story:
    People of the Dawn * People of the Dawnland:
    Maliseet and other Maine Indian history.
Quebec History: Malecite Indians: * Origin of the Maliseet
    Early ethnographies of the Malecites.
Tarrateen War:
    History of the 17th-century Wabanaki war.
Compensation for Residential School Survivors * Shubenhacadie Indian Residential School:
    Indian Residential Schools * Out of the Depths * Aboriginal Healing Foundation * Residential Schools:
    Institutional Child Abuse in Canada * Aboriginal Peoples and Residential Schools:
    History of Shubenacadie and other Indian boarding schools of Canada, and the abuses Indian children suffered there.
Wolastoqiyik - Portrait of A People:
    Collection of historic Malecite photographs.
Maritimes Treaties * Treaty Agreement of 1749:
    18th century treaties between the English and the Maliseet ("St. John Indians").
Amalecite Indians:
    Old missionary document about the Maliseet people.
Four Directions: Maliseet:
    Timeline and links about Maliseet history.

Maliseet Genealogy

Genealogy Documents On-Line:
    Malecite and other Wabanaki peoples' census rolls and genealogical resources.
Maliseet & Micmac Vital Statistics:
    Database of Micmac and Maliseet demographics from New Brunswick church records.
Maliseet Tribal History:
    Genealogy and history of the Maliseet of Woodstock First Nation.
Maine Native American Genealogy:
    Information, links, and messageboards for Maliseets and other Maine Indians.
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick:
    Publicly available NB documents including Micmac and Maliseet genealogical records.
Native American Nations: Maliseet:
    Message board for people of Maliseet descent.
American Indian Genealogy:
    Advice for people seeking Maliseet and other American Indian ancestors in their family tree.

Books for sale on the Maliseet Indians
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

English and Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary:
    Maliseet-English dictionary.
Mi'kmaq and Maliseet Cultural and Ancestral Material:
    Photographic exhibit of Maliseet art and artifacts from the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Tales From Maliseet Country:
    Maliseet legends and folk tales presented both in the Native language and in English.
Twelve Thousand Years:
    Reference book on the Malecites and other American Indians of Maine.
Enough is Enough: Aboriginal Women Speak Out:
    Profiles of Maliseet women and their views on Canadian aboriginal issues.
Defying Maliseet Language Death:
    Interesting book about the relationship between Maliseet language and culture, by a Native linguist.
Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume:
    Photo-essay on Maliseet and other Wabanaki textile arts from the Maine State Museum.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Maliseet and other Algonquian tribes.
Indian Books:
    Evolving list of books about Native Americans in general.

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Additional Resources, Links, and References

   Malécites * Malecites * Les Malécites * Les Amérindiens Malécites * La Nation Malécite * Les Malécites:
    Information about the Maliseet Indian Nation in French.
   Pueblo Maliseet:
    Information about the Maliseets in Spanish.
   Maliseet * Malecite Indians * Malecites:
   Encyclopedia articles about the Maliseet Indians.
   Maliseet Indians * Maliseet Tribe:
   Malecite Indian links pages.

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