Indian Nation

We, the Penobscot people, are indigenous to Penobscot watershed. We are included in the term Wabanaki, which is used to denote the sovereign nations of Maine and the Maritimes, exclusively in the European boundaries of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The early European explorers found a powerful confederacy upon their arrival. One of our first recorded

leaders, the powerful Chief Bessabez, or Bashaba as the English called him, ruled a nation of over twenty villages, where the confederacy dominated. From 1606 to 1616, the region was subject to inter-tribal conflict and invasion. Bessabez was killed and immediately following was an apocalyptic time of pestilence, believed to be European introduced smallpox, that began to decimate our indigenous populations. This was furthered by the long wars with the Mohawks from the 1630's until 1678. Penobscot numbers were estimated to be over 10,000 - but by 1803 - only 347 Penobscots remained.