Waterways

The Wabanaki have always had a sacred relationship with water. For thousands of years Maine’s rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and the ocean have provided abundance of food for the Wabanaki people including Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, eel, trout, alewive, clams, waterbirds, and aquatic plants. Early Wabanaki people used dugout canoes—and later, lighter, faster birchbark canoes — to travel the waterways. They used rivers to explore different hunting territories, maintain contact with other tribal members and as trade routes to surrounding tribes. By using these waterways and portaging their canoes, it made travel back and forth from the Maine coast to the St. Lawrence River possible. Modern Wabanaki people have maintained their special connection  with the water by continuing to fight for clean, unpolluted water; promoting the removal of dams to aid in the return of fish species; and lobbying for adequate fishing rights.