Tribes in the New England/Northeast Region
Circle of Seven by Robert Peters (Wampanoag)
Abenaki | Eastern Pequot Nation | Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Tribe | Haudenosaunee Confederacy | Maliseet Indians | Mashantucket Pequot Nation | Mi’kmaq Indians | Mohegan Tribe | Narragansett Indian Tribe | Nipmuc Nation | Passamaquoddy Tribes of Maine | Penobscot Nation | Schaghticoke Tribal Nation | Shinnecock Indian Nation | Unkechaug | Wampanoag
Indian Support Organizations
Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs | North American Indian Center of Boston | Rhode Island Indian Council and Connecticut Indian Council | American Indian Community House | Flying Eagle Woman Fund
The Abenaki are from Ndakinna, “our land” of northern New England and southern Quebec, and are the western relatives of other Wabanaki groups in that region, including the Maine tribes of Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq. Abenaki people living in traditional territory in northern New England today include extended family bands who have remained in their traditional places such as the Lake Champlain Valley (Betobagw), Lake Memphramagog (Memlawbagw), the Connecticut River Valley (Kwinitekw), and the White Mountains (Wôbiadenak); citizens of the Odanak and Wolinak First Nations in Quebec; and several formally organized tribes of related families.
The Eastern Pequot Nation, located in southeastern Connecticut, is currently a state-recognized tribe with a reservation in North Stonington.
Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Tribe (Connecticut)
The Golden Hill Paugussett has one of the oldest and smallest reservations in the country. Established in 1659, today the reservation is approximately ¼ of an acre, large enough for Chief Aurelius Pipers’ family. In 1659, the General Court of Hartford decided that the colonists had the right to take Paugussett lands that became the Bridgeport [city] area. In return, the Indians were to receive an 80-acre tract of land known as “Golden Hill” which was granted “forever”. But the stealing of Paugussett land continued. Finally, in 1875 William Sherman purchased a 1/4 acre of land in Trumbull and gave to the overseer to be held in trust for the Tribe forever. In 1939 the Attorney General wrote an opinion that the property was Tribal land for the Golden Hill people. Nonetheless, the Golden Hill people have to keep a watchful eye in protecting their little quarter of an acre.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is composed of 6 tribes that are western neighbors of the New England tribes, with territories extending beyond the modern-day international boundary separating the United States and Canada.
- The New York-based Saint Regis Mohawk is the U.S.-recognized tribal group of Mohawk. For Canadian-based Mohawks, please see the following:
- The Oneida Indian Nation of New York is known as the first ally of the United States, having fought with the colonists against the British during the American Revolution. Details about the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin can be found a their tribal website.
- The Onondaga Nation maintains its 7,300-acre territory just south of Syracuse, NY.
- The homeland of the Cayuga Nation of New York lays between the Seneca and Onondaga nations.
- The Tuscarora Nation, whose reservation is located in Western New York, does not currently maintain a website.
- The Senecas are the western-most nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. They have three reservations: the Allegany & Cattaraugus territories are part of the Seneca Nation of Indians, and the Tonawanda Senecas have their own reservation.
The band of the Maliseet Indians (Maine) in the United States are federally recognized as the Houlton Band of Maliseet.
Mashantucket Pequot Nation (Connecticut)
The Mashantucket Pequot Nation of Southeastern Connecticut resides on one of the oldest continuously occupied Indian reservations in America. Its tribal symbol is a fox, which stands as a vigilant reminder of the turbulent times they went through when Europeans first arrived in the early 17th century. The Pequot Nation was the first Native American group within United States to suffer an attempted genocide by Puritan colonists in 1637 (the Pequot War). Today the Mashantucket Pequot Nation owns and runs the 85,000-square-foot Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, located in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The Museum presents the tribe’s history—as well as information about other Algonquian groups—through four different mediums: dioramas, text panels, interactive computer programs and a series of films. Many educational programs are also part of the Museum’s regular offerings. The Tribe also owns one of the largest resort casinos in the world, Foxwoods Resort Casino. Lake of Isles Golf Course and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods are also run by the Tribe. They remain the highest taxpayers and largest employers in the state of Connecticut.
Current information about the Mi'kmaq Indians of the United States and Canada can be found at the following websites:
- Aroostook Band of Micmacs (Presque Isle, Maine)
- Elsipogtog First Nation
- Metepenagiag First Nation (New Brunswick, Canada)
- Abegweit First Nation (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
- Mi'gmawei Mawiomi
The Mohegan Tribe, located in southeastern Connecticut, is the host tribe of NAISA 2012. More information about the tribe’s history, tribal government, and education programs, plus current events, is available a their website.
The Narrangansett Indian Tribe is located in southern Rhode Island.
Nipmuc Nation (Massachusetts)
The Nipmuc Indians are the tribal group occupying the central part of Massachusetts, northeastern Connecticut and northwestern Rhode Island. The Nipmuc Nation is a state-recognized band with approximately 500 enrolled members today based at the Hassanamisco Reservation (in Grafton, MA). This small 3-acre reservation is the only parcel of Nipmuc land never to have changed hands; its occupation by Nipmuc people dates back to before contact and colonization. The Nipmuc Indians of Massachusetts have several bands today, including the Chaubunagungamaug of Webster and Natick Nipmuc of Natick, in addition to the Nipmuc Nation.
The Penobscot Nation of Maine is one of the four Northeastern woodlands tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy.
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (Connecticut)
The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has been recognized by the Colony and then the State of Connecticut as a separate and distinct American Indian tribal entity continually from historic time through the 20th century. Today, the Tribe has approximately 300 members. The historical and spiritual base of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is the Tribe's approximately 400-acre reservation in Kent, Connecticut. The reservation is mountainous and rocky, with a small strip of flatland located on a flood plain along the Housatonic River. A tribal council consisting of a chief, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, and five other council members, governs the Tribe. The Tribe meets at least three times a year, and the tribal council meets at least bimonthly. Standing committees address issues of housing and constitutional process.
The Shinnecock Indian Nation (New York) is located along the eastern shores of Long Island.
The Unkechaug (“people from beyond the hill") Indian Nation is based in New York, centered around the 55-acre Poospatuck ("where the waters meet") Reservation on Long Island, N.Y. The church on the reservation is New York State’s oldest Mission church and is multi-denominational. Unkechaug territory is particularly noted for producing what is known as “black wampum,” the dark purple associated with certain parts of Long Island.
- The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
- The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is based on Martha’s Vineyard.
- Other Wampanoag groups include the Assonet Band, Herring Pond, Seaconke, and Pocasset.
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Indian Support Organizations
- Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs (MCIA) was created by legislature in 1974. Their office is located on Cambridge Street in Boston. Fundamental role of MCIA is assisting Native American individuals, tribe or organizations in their relationship with state and local government agencies and also to advise them in matters pertaining to Native Americans. The commission helps to assist things from social services, education, to legal aid and treaties. They also make recommendations to the people concerning programs and policies that will best serve the interest of the Native American residents such as assisting students who want to go to college by recommending and paying for college prep activities.
- North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB)
- The Rhode Island Indian Council and Connecticut Indian Council was established in 1975 in Providence, R.I. and expanded to Connecticut, opening the Connecticut Indian Council (CIC) in 1992 to provide unemployed Native Americans with services, including employment and training, post-secondary tuition assistance and work experience.
- American Indian Community House, New York
- Flying Eagle Woman Fund , New York
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