Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

Lecture: The River to which I Belong

September 28, 2019
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Hannaford Hall, Abromson Center, Portland Campus
map of the southern coast of Maine overlaid with the Wabanaki names for the rivers

Co-Hosts:  Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, Friends of the Presumpscot River, and USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. 

In 1739, the Wabanaki leader Polin traveled from the Presumpscot River down the coast to Boston to protest the dams that blocked the passage of the abundant fish on which his community depended. Wabanaki people had developed and sustained a dynamic, reciprocal relationship with salmon on the Presumpscot River over thousands of years, a relationship which was directly threatened by both colonial wars and colonial development, including intensive deforestation, powered by dams. Polin’s protest was not an exceptional event but part of a long-term, adaptive resistance, arising from a vast and multifaceted community within the Wabanaki homeland, which continues today.

Lisa Brooks is an Abenaki writer and scholar who lives and works in the Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley. She is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College and is active in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, which she chaired from 2013-2017. Along with her many accomplishments, her most recent book, Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, which begins and ends in Casco Bay, received the Bancroft Award for History and Diplomacy and the New England Society Book Award for Historical Nonfiction in 2019. As a Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, she worked with a team of students and colleagues, to develop a companion website, www.ourbelovedkin.com, which features full color digital maps of Native space. Lisa was honored in 2018 with the Maine Historical Society’s Neal Allen Award for exceptional contributions to Maine history.

Contact Information

Hope Mowry