Canoe Indians of Down East Maine

Posted Aug. 17, 2012, at 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Wilson Museum, 120 Perkins Street, Castine, Maine

For more information: Darren French; (207) 326-9247;

In 1604, when Frenchmen landed on Saint Croix Island, they were far from the first people to walk along its shores. For thousands of years, Etchemins – whose descendants were members of the Wabanaki Confederacy – had lived, loved and labored in Down East Maine. Bound together with neighboring people, all of whom relied heavily on canoes for transportation, trade and survival, each group still maintained its own unique culture and customs. After the French arrived, they faced unspeakable hardships, from “the Great Dying,” when disease killed up to 90 percent of coastal populations, to centuries of discrimination. Yet, they never abandoned Ketakamigwa, their homeland. Anthropologist William Haviland will relate the history of hardship and survival endured by the natives of the Down East coast in a talk and book-signing at the Wilson Museum, 120 Perkins Street in Castine on Tuesday, August 28th at 3 p.m.

Dr. William A. Haviland is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he founded the Department of Anthropology and taught for thirty-five years. He has authored many books including his latest “Canoe Indians of Down East Maine,” which will be on sale at the August 28th signing event. Now retired from teaching, Haviland continues his research, writing and lecturing from the coast of Maine. In addition, he has served as president of the Island Heritage Trust on Deer Isle and presently serves on the boards of the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society and the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor.