We acknowledge that these lands are Wabanaki lands, first and foremost. The Wabanaki have lived here for 13,000 years, as archeological finds can attest to, and their time here likely goes even beyond that. The area of land that we know as Sullivan was traditionally Passamaquoddy territory. The Peskotomuhkati people lived along the coast of what we call Downeast Maine, and Frenchman Bay was a place of convergence and trade with other tribes throughout the millennia.
Waukeag or Adowaukeag is the Abenaki name for the area we now call Sullivan and Frenchman Bay. The name translates roughly as “a horseback in a place where the tide runs out very strong.”
The arrival of the French, the first European settlers in the early 17th century, and more so the English who seized and colonized the land in the 18th century, displaced the Indigenous of this area. Many died of diseases from which they had no immunity, and by the 19th century the Passamaquoddy were restricted to reservations in Washington County: Motahkokmikuk/Indian Township, and Sipayik/Pleasant Point.
It is essential to recognize that our settler history makes up a tiny fraction of the time that humans have lived here, and that the Wabanaki are still very much with us. This beautiful and bountiful land was taken unfairly, thus it was never the settlers’ right to own it. This is Waukeag and these are Wabanaki homelands.