This article was originally published under “Features” in Park Science magazine, Volume 35, Number 1, Winter 2021 (December 8, 2021).

The Wabanaki, People of the Dawn, have lived in the Acadia region since time immemorial. Through their interactions with land, water, sea, and sky, they cultivate knowledge that sustains and transforms their identity.

With National Park Service funding, Suzanne Greenlaw (Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Maine and citizen of the Houlton Band of Maliseets) is studying harvesting’s effect on sweetgrass growth in Acadia. She is working with Michelle Baumflek, a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, and fourteen Wabanaki sweetgrass gatherers and their families.

Dr. Bonnie Newsom (Penobscot) is re-evaluating the park’s collections from two previous archeological excavations, including the sites at Isle au Haut. Wabanaki interns Isaac St. John of the University of New Brunswick and Natalie Dana-Lolar of the University of Maine are assisting her. They have retrieved the materials from storage for re-examination and interpretation. They intend to write a new and accessible report summarizing the sites’ contents and their meaning. . .


Catherine Schmitt


Park Science Magazine

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