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Native Languages of the Americas: Passamaquoddy Tribe

Language: This Algonquian language has two major dialects: Maliseet (or Malecite), spoken mainly in New Brunswick, and Passamaquoddy (or Peskotomuhkati), spoken mostly in Maine. There are 1500 speakers of both dialects combined. Very few people in the younger generations speak Maliseet or (especially) Passamaquoddy, which means that the language will die out within this century unless language revival efforts can successfully restore its use among Maliseet and Passamaquoddy children.

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People: The Passamaquoddy tribe belonged to the loose confederation of eastern American Indians known as the Wabanaki Alliance, together with the Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Abenaki, and Penobscot tribes. Today most Passamaquoddy people live in Maine, in two communities along the Passamaquoddy Bay that bears their name. However, there is also a band of a few hundred Passamaquoddy people in New Brunswick.

History: The French referred to both the Passamaquoddy and their Maliseet kinfolk by the same name, "Etchimins." They were closely related peoples who shared a common language, but the two tribes have always considered themselves politically independent. Smallpox and other European diseases took a heavy toll on the Passamaquoddy tribe, which was reduced from at least 20,000 people to no more than 4000. Pressured by European and Iroquois aggression, the Maliseet and Passamaquoddy banded together with their neighbors the Abenakis, Penobscots, and Micmacs into the short-lived but formidable Wabanaki Confederacy. This confederacy was no more than a loose alliance, however, and neither the Maliseet nor the Passamaquoddy nation ever gave up their sovereignty. Today the Passamaquoddy live primarily in the United States and the Maliseet in Canada, but the distinction between the two is not imposed by those governments--the two tribes have always been politically distinct entities.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Resources
Passamaquoddy language samples, articles, and pronunciation guide.

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

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

Passamaquoddy Culture and History

As a complement to our Passamaquoddy information, we would like to share our collection of indexed links about the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe and various aspects of their society. The emphasis of these pages is on American Indians as a living people with a present and a future as well as a past. Passamaquoddy history is interesting and important, but the Passamaquoddy are still here today, too, and we try to feature modern writers as well as traditional folklore, contemporary artwork 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.

Passamaquoddy Tribal and Community Links

Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township:
    Official homepage of the Indian Township Passamaquoddys.
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point:
    Official homepage of the Pleasant Point (Sipayik) Passamaquoddys.
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs:
    Information, services, and outreach for the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy First Nations in Canada.
Wabanaki Program:
    Maine Indian youth program sponsored by the Americans Friends Service Committee.
    Organization committed to maintaining the integrity and way of life of the Wabanaki Nations.
Passamaquoddy Maple: * Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company:
    Passamaquoddy tribal projects to harvest and sell organic syrup and blueberries from the Maine reservations.
Native American Political Issues * Native Herbalist:
    Homepages of Passamaquoddy Indian people.

Maps of Passamaquoddy Tribal Lands

Native Americans of New England:
    Map of early Passamaquoddy and other New England Indian territories.
Maine Native American Culture:
    Historical maps and timeline for the Passamaquoddy and other Native Americans of Maine.
Maine Indian Maps:
    Tribal map showing the original territory of the Passamaquoddy Indians and their neighbors.

Passamaquoddy Lifestyle and Tradition

Quoddy Loop: The Passamaquoddy Tribe:
    Passamaquoddy culture and history.
*Passamaquoddy Teaching Kit:
    Online lesson plans about the Passamaquoddy tribe and their lifeways.
    Anthropology text on the Passamaquoddy people.
Canoeing Cultures: Passamaquoddy:
    Penobscot and Passamaquoddy canoe-building and traditional culture.
Passamaquoddy Gender Roles:
    Passamaquoddy traditions about men and women's place in society.
Memory Interview * Contemporary Life and Change:
    Interview with two Passamaquoddy men about their cultural beliefs, customs, traditions, and contemporary life.
Steve Cayard, Birchbark Canoe Builder:
    Article about canoe-building (the younger of the two craftsmen featured is Passamaquoddy).
Abbe Museum Exhibits: Art and Archaeology * Snowshoes, A Gift From Glooskap:
    Passamaquoddy and other Wabanaki artifacts, including arrowheads, tools, jewelry, pottery, snowshoes, and beads.
Wigwam Lodge * Native American Moccasins * Wabanaki Indian Food:
    Passamaquoddy and other Native American houses, food, and artifacts.
Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Beaded Regalia * American Indian Clothing * Beaded Headband * Indian Hair Styles:
    Pictures and descriptions of traditional Passamaquoddy and other Native American dress.
Flag of the Passamaquoddy Tribe:
    The Passamaquoddy flag.
Preserving Passamaquoddy * Grandmother Moon * Tribe As Community As Family * Pride of the Passamaquoddy Tribe:
    Articles about language and cultural preservation in the Passamaquoddy tribes of Maine.
Teachers on Mission to Save Heritage * Reservation Schools Preserve Cultures:
    Penobscot and Passamaquoddy education, including children's classes on Indian language and heritage.
Passamaquoddy Bundle & Pin Game (T'wis) * Waltes:
    Traditional Passamaquoddy games.
Passamaquoddy Wild Rice * Menudo * Grilled Rabbit:
    Traditional Passamaquoddy recipes.
Passamaquoddy License Plates * Wabanaki License Plate:
    Tribal license platea issued to Passamaquoddy and other Wabanaki people in Maine.

Passamaquoddy Religion and Myth

Glooskap Stories and other Passamaquoddy Legends:
    Collection of Passamaquoddy Indian legends and folktales.
Passamaquoddy Tales * Passamaquoddy Legends * Passamaquoddy Stories:
    Mythology of the Passamaquoddy.
Native American Beliefs:
    Advice for people researching traditional Passamaquoddy religion and other American Indian spirituality.
Indian Reservation Priests Follow A 300-Year-Old Tradition:
    The Catholic religious tradition of the Penobscots and Passamaquoddies.

Passamaquoddy Literature and Arts

Passamaquoddy Literature:
    Traditional stories and a contemporary poem.
Maine Native American Basketmaking * Peter Neptune, Passamaquody Basketmaker:
    Northeast Tribes Basket Gallery * Maine Indian Baskets:
    Passamaquoddy and other Maine Indian splint basketry.
Brilliantly Beaded:
    Beadwork of the Passamaquoddy and other Northeast American Indians.
Porcupine Quill Decoration on Birch Bark * Porcupine Quill Embroidery:
    Quill embroidery of the Mi'kmaq and Passamaquoddy Indian people.
Algonquian Objects:
    Museum display of Micmac and Maliseet artworks from the University of Oxford.
Maggie Paul:
    Songs by a Passamaquoddy musician.
Native American Crafts:
    Information, photographs and links about Passamaquoddy and other native art.

Passamaquoddy News, Issues, and Current Events

Wabanaki Legal News:
    Legal information, news and support for the American Indians of Maine.
    Articles about Wabanaki issues from the Maine Rural Development Council.
Constitution of the Sipayik members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe:
    The Passamaquoddy tribal constitution of Sipayik (Pleasant Point).
Donald Soctomah:
    Profile of the Passamaquoddy Nation's government representative to the Maine State House.
Celebrating life of a true leader * Passamaquoddy leader Melvin Francis killed in crash:
    Melvin Joseph Francis * Chief Aims to Bridge Tribal Generation Gap:
    Articles about the late Passamaquoddy governor Melvin Francis.
Domtar Returns Burial Ground * Passamaquoddy Tribe Celebrates Return of Island:
    The return of Bear Island to the Passamaquoddy tribe.
Passamaquoddy Lay Claim to Land:
    The Passamaquoddy First Nation of New Brunswick and their quest for recognition.
Porpoise Hunting * Hugh Akagi on Passamaquoddy Fishing:
    Passamaquoddy Harbor Porpoise Hunting * Passamaquoddy Fishing Rights Battle * Burnt Church News:
    Opinions about the Passamaquoddy Tribe's porpoise hunt and indigenous fishing rights.
Call of the Casino * Casino Yes * Las Vegas Casino Developer Involved:
    Casino Backers Initiate Petition: * Casino Aims for Biddeford * Casino Concerns:
    Familiar Figures on Casino Mission * The Passamaquoddy Tribe v. Maine:
    Newspaper articles about the proposed Penobscot-Passamaquoddy casino.
At Loggerheads:
    Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Land Claim Settlement of 1980.
Fight Sparks a Racial Rift:
    Racism directed against Passamaquoddy students at the Lee Academy boarding school.
Teachers Learn Tribal Culture:
    The Passamaquoddy tribe's program to educate Maine schoolteachers about Indian culture.
Indian Hiring Rule Threatens Jobs:
    Passamaquoddy Indian preference hiring.
Quest for Qonasqamkuk * Land Grab Angers Passamaquoddy People:
    Land Battle Underway in St. Andrews * Passamaquoddy Sacred Grounds Called 'Prime Building Lots':
    The Passamaquoddy tribe's quest to reclaim ancestral burial grounds cut off by the border with Canada.
Kmihqitahasultipon * A Healing Spirit:
    Program to address children's mental health on the Passamaquoddy reservation.
Tribe Looks Inward for the Way Out * A Native Returns to Help Her Troubled People Heal:
    The struggle against alcoholism in the Passamaquoddy tribe.
Native American Human Remains * Important Change in Maine Law :
    Repatriation of American Indian human remains in Maine.
Maine House Bans the Word 'Squaw' * The "Squaw" Word * Squaw:
    Bill to Ban 'Squaw' from Place Names * Northeast Wigwam: Squaw Names * Hurtful Words:
    The successful fight by Maine Indians to rename landmarks with the word squaw in them.
Protecting Maine Rivers * River Summit: * Tribes Roots in Water * Tribal Stewardship:
    Passamaquoddy and other native efforts to protect Maine rivers from dioxin and mercury pollution.
The Wabanaki Challenge:
    Cross-border Wabanaki Indian relations and legal issues.

Passamaquoddy History

Passamaquoddy/Penobscot History:
    Penobscot and Passamaquoddy history from ancient times until 1985.
Abenaki History:
    Abenaki and Passamaquoddy tribal history.
Passamaquoddy History:
    History of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township.
Timeline of Native American Culture in Maine * Wabanaki Indian Collection * Ready to Tell Overdue Story:
    People of the Dawn * People of the Dawnland:
    Passamaquoddy and other Maine Indian history.
Maine Indian Land Claims:
    The Indian Land Claims Settlement of 1980.
Four Directions: Passamaquoddy:
    Timeline and links about Passamaquoddy history.

Passamaquoddy Genealogy

Passamaquoddy Tribe Census Department:
    Genealogical information and assistance from the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribe.
Maine Native American Genealogy:
    Information, links, and messageboards for Passamaquoddys and other Indians of Maine.
Native American Nations: Passamaquoddy:
    Message board for tracing Passamaquoddy lineage.
Native American Genealogy:
    Direction for people trying to find Passamaquoddy and other American Indian ancestors.

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

English and Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy dictionary.
An Upriver Passamaquoddy:
    Autobiography of Passamaquoddy storyteller Allen Sockabasin, discussing his people's history and traditions.
Thanks To The Animals:
    Charming picture book by a Passamaquoddy author about a child protected by nature.
Passamaquoddy Ceremonial Songs:
    Ethnomusicology book about traditional Passamaquoddy song and dance.
Passamaquoddy Texts:
    Annotated collection of Passamaquoddy stories with English translation.
Twelve Thousand Years:
    Reference book on the Penobscots and other American Indians of Maine.
Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume:
    Photo-essay on the designs and symbols of Wabanaki textile arts from the Maine State Museum.
    Land claims of the Mashpee, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians.
American Indian Books:
    Evolving list of books about Native Americans in general.

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Additional Resources, Links, and References

  Encyclopedia articles about the Passamaquoddy tribe.
  Pueblo Passamaquoddy * Los Passamaquoddy:
  Information about the Passamaquoddy tribe in Spanish.
  Passamaquoddy * Passamaquoddy Tribe * Native Americans: The Passamaquoddy * Passamaquoddy Trail:
  Passamaquoddy Native Americans:
  Passamaquoddy links pages.

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