Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month. Native Americans of the Pennacook tribes have been living in and around what we now call Lowell for hundreds of years and a few still live here today. UMass Lowell has a wonderful ‘Brief History’ which is part of their Land Acknowledgement page.
“Brief History of native peoples in Lowell land and surrounding communities
In the 1600s, the two Native settlements that could be found within the limits of what is today the city of Lowell were called Pawtucket and Wamesit. In the first decades of the 17th century, the town of Pawtucket was a major New England Indian settlement. The community was situated close to the falls, which today are named after the town. Typical for New England Native settlements, where town or village sites were not infrequently moved, Pawtucket’s location sometimes changed in the general area around the falls. In 1653, the Puritan missionary John Eliot lobbied for the establishment of a “praying town,” a community for Native “Christian converts,” called Wamesit. This community located where the Merrimack and the Concord rivers meet, just a short distance down river from the settlement of Pawtucket, was in what is today downtown Lowell.
Pawtucket Falls: A waterfall on the Merrimack River, named for the Indian Tribe whose members were the earliest known inhabitants of this area. The waterfall and rapids below it drop a total of 32 feet in a little under a mile. The Pawtucket’s village was on the north side of the Merrimack River near the falls. The residents took advantage of the Spring migration of salmon, alewives and shad and would hunt and grow corn during other months of the year. The Wamesit Village was located few miles downstream on the south side of the river where the Concord River flowed into the Merrimack. There is a monument to Sachem Pascomway at the Falls.”
Are you interested in learning more about Native American people who lived and live around Lowell? Check out some of these resources:
Native Land Digital: Map of Native Tribes: https://native-land.ca/
Lib Guide from UMass Lowell: https://libguides.uml.edu/strobel_seminar
Timeline from the Lowell Historical Society: https://www.lowellhistoricalsociety.org/timeline/
Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association: https://www.greaterlowellnatives.com/