In the nineteenth century the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indian nations preserved considerable mobility across their traditional homeland. This case study uses petitions and other primary sources to show that many Native families maintained connections to places that their ancestors once inhabited. While the Penobscot reservation consisted of the river islands above the head of tide, families continued to return to Penobscot Bay to harvest marine resources. Other kin groups revisited old sites on the Kennebec River. Non-Native town officials wanted to send the Indians home but were blind to the fact that the Wabanaki peoples already understood themselves to be home. For the Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point (Sipayik), resources such as birch bark and firewood were scarce, prompting them to harvest wood on private property for survival. Tension between private property and traditional homeland remained unresolved as Wabanaki peoples persevered in their partially colonized homeland.

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