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The Abenaki in the Connecticut River in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Southern Quebec: A Short Chronology*

By sarah_g_rooker on July 3, 2013 in Timelines
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Creation -1600
Abenaki creation and transformer traditions linked to Patawbakw (Lake Champlain), Askaskadenak (Green Mountains), and Wôbiadanak (White Mountains) in present-day VT and NH.

10,000 BC-1600 AD
BC-1600 AD Native peoples confirmed in VT, NH, and southern Quebec (PQ) by archaeologists.

1500-1609
Estimated minimum of 10,000 Abenakis in VT and minimum of 12,000 confirmed in NH.

1609-1760
Alnôbak/Wôbanakiak (Western Abenaki) maintain ancient homeland called Kdakinna/Ndakinna (Our Land) and Wôbanakik (Dawn Land) in VT, NH, western ME, northern MA, and southern PQ.

1660-1800s
Sokwakik/Squakheag Abenakis of Northfield, MA and Fort Hill, Hinsdale, NH, dispersed but maintain strong, local presence.

1675-1755
Many Sokwakis, Abenakis, Pocumtucs, and other Connecticut River Indians use Schaghticoke (NY), Missisquoi, (northwest VT), Koesek (VT/NH), and St Francis (Chaudiere and St Francis Rivers in PQ) as refuges from New England wars.

1724-1800
Mascoma, Pinewans, Phillip, and other Abenakis are well known to first non-Native settlers of Connecticut River Valley of VT/NH.

1760
Abenaki population in VT and southern PQ at least 1,200 with at least 700 known in NH and western ME. Many known Abenaki village and camping sites recognized. Actual population in NE unknown. Minimum population of Koes area is 150.

1760-1840
Abenaki Nation works to keep Koesek and Missisquoi villages as “Indian Towns” (Reserves). Two Abenaki mission towns in PQ: Odanak/St. Francis and Wolinak/Becancour, confirmed as Canadian Reserves with usual documented population of 400-500 and maximum of 1,200 (in 1800). Wolinak Abenaki speak related dialect.

1775-1783
Abenaki ranger units and warriors fight on American side in Revolution, based in Koesek Joseph Susap (Indian Joe), Swasson, and Francis, are among the Abenaki leaders involved. Mali Agat/Molly Ockett and Phillip also well known as doctors.

1790-1970
1790-1970 US census lists under 100 Indians in VT and NH to 1960, and 500 in 1970.

1800-1970
Many off-reserve Abenaki enclaves known in VT, NH, ME, NY, PQ, and Ontario. Population of Abenaki in northwest VT confirmed to be at least 1,000 by 1840 and 1,500 by 1910. Actual totals in northeast VT and NH are unknown.

1800-1974
Abenakis at Missisquoi and Koesek are dispersed out of old villages. Tribes survive on edge of non- Indian towns and in remote areas.

1830-1860
Peter Paul Osunkhirhine notes 2,000 speakers of Alnôbaiwi/Abenaki, including 400 at Odanak and several hundred south of Quebec City.

1972-1986
Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in northwestern VT reemerges, is recognized by many Indian groups, and applies for Federal recognition in 1980. NH Indian Council formed.

1979, 1983, 1987, 1994
Abenaki hold four fish-ins on the Missisquoi River. VT drops charges in 1979, 1983, and 1994 cases.

1980
US census shows 989 Indians in VT, most in northwestern portion of state. 1,352 are identified in NH.

1989-1992
Abenaki Nation/Missisquoi wins fish-in case in the Wolchik Decision. VT Governor’s Commission on Native Affairs begins. VT Supreme Court overturns Wolchik in Elliot Decision in 1991. US Supreme Court refuses to consider Elliot in 1992.

1990
US census shows 1,696 Indians in Vermont and 2,134 in New Hampshire.

1991-Present
The NH Inter-tribal Council reactivated. Koes/Coosucgroups emerge in VT, NH, MA. Abenaki Nation of NH emerges. Cowasuck Band of Abenaki People files for Federal recognition in1995. Menasen Abenaki emerge in southern PQ.

2000
US census shows 2,460 Indian people and 3,976 (who cited “Indian” as one of two or more races) in VT for TOTAL of 6,396, focused in northern and central VT in Missisquoi, Memphramagog, and Coos areas. 1,549 in VT listed as Abenaki. NH has 2,964 and 4,921 (who cited “Indian” as one of two or more races) for a TOTAL of 7,855, with large numbers in Coos, Pigwacket, and Penacook areas. 497 in NH listed as Abenaki. 2,544 Abenaki listed across US.

May 3, 2006
VT Legislature recognizes the Abenaki People including Missisquoi and creates the VT Commission on Native American Affairs.

2007
Abenaki Nation of Koesek emerges in Connecticut River Valley of VT/NH and files for Federal recognition. Nulhegan Band of Coosuc Abenaki people emerges in northeastern VT.

2010
VT Legislature expands VT Commission on Native American Affairs. NH Legislature creates NH Commission on Native American Affairs. Odanak population is 1,876 and Wolinak is 225. About 12,000 Abenaki total population cited in US and Canada in Wikipedia.

*Timeline prepared by John Moody, April 2010.