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Indigenous People of Piscataqua Watershed


On Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 7PM, David Miller will present Indigenous People of Piscataqua Watershed. This event will start with an Land Recognition Ceremony and introduction by Kathleen Blake.

Before we can learn of the native people of the Piscataqua River Watershed, we need to understand the watershed itself.

The Piscataqua River is a 12-mile-long tidal river that abuts both NH and Maine. It runs from the Salmon Falls River through to the Cocheco River and includes 5 other rivers flowing into Great Bay: Bellamy, Oyster, Lamprey, Squamscott and Winnicut Rivers.

Named by the area’s original Abenaki inhabitants, the word Piscataqua is believed to be a combination of peske (branch) with tegwe (a river with a strong current, possibly tidal).

When Mr. Miller went looking for an accurate detailed study of the Indians who lived in this area he found none existed. He took it upon himself to try to rectify this gap in the historic record.

Mr. Miller is known for his research on the native peoples of the Piscataqua River watershed. This geographic area had all the elements necessary for comfortable survival and prolonged life for the native peoples who lived here before contact with Europeans starting in the late 1400s and early 1500s.

Kathleen Blake is an alumna of the University of New Hampshire and of Plymouth State University. She is an indigenous mother and grandmother, and a retired teacher of environmental and biological sciences and school administrator. She is the current chair of the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs, an affiliate member of the UNH Indigenous Studies Minor Program, and a member of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collective Collaborative.

The program is free and open to the public but pre-registration required, so we can provide weblinks to attendees. Stay tuned for the registration link.