Reclaiming the Ancestors

Frederick Matthew Wiseman
Grade Levels:
College, University
Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Wabanaki, Woodland
Book Type:
University Press of New England
Copyright Data:

Sale price$35.00


Reclaiming the Ancestors: Decolonizing a Taken Prehistory of the Far Northeast by Abenaki professor, Frederick Wiseman, sets the record straight about the early history of the Wabanaki - the Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Malecite, and Mi'kmaq. He proposes a sovereigntist approach to understanding the current archaeological understanding of Abenaki prehistory. Combining personal history and scientific training with archaeological and paleoecological data he provides a new perspective on the 11,000-year history of the Wabanaki of the East Coast. He begins with an overview of the conflicting views of First Nations and archaeologists regarding Indigenous history and how he developed his research design model. Over the next 10 chapters the book explores and discusses the periods of Wabanaki prehistory. The final chapter takes the history to the beginning of the early contact period. The author makes he point that documentation of Wabanaki territory is of vital importance in today's political climate of Vermont. The Wabanaki face major obstacles as politicians utilize archaeological evidence against the Wabanaki's push for self-governance and recognition. The book contains limited black and white photographs of artifacts because the author made a conscious choice to respect items that were from grave sites. A fascinating history that dispels many previously-held academic viewpoints of the Wabanaki First Nations.

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