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Hannaford Hall

88 Bedford Street

Portland, ME 04101

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"Penobscot Sense of Place: The Relationship Between Land, Language, and Penobscot Culture," a lecture by James Francis

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Penobscot Sense of Place: The Relationship Between Land, Language, and Penobscot Culture

Director of the Office of Historic and Cultural Preservation at the Penobscot Nation and tribal historian, James E. Francis Sr. (Penobscot) will unpack stories about the origin and meaning of geographic place names in what is now known as Maine from a Wabanaki perspective. Wabanaki, part of the Algonkian language group, is the first language of Maine, and each tribe has a distinct language that expresses worldview. The original words of this land – Casco, Katahdin, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Pemaquid – can be found on any map of Maine today. As settlers colonized Maine with a dominant English language system, they named towns after their founding fathers or English homelands, resulting in a situation where Wabanaki people are now living in a deeply familiar place populated with foreign words. In his presentation, Mr. Francis will illuminate the relationship between natural resources, place names, and Wabanaki worldview. And through place names, Mr. Francis reveals the continued legacies of colonial violence on the landscape as well as the continuation of Indigenous adaptation, endurance, and resistance. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, but particularly educators, to learn from a master historian, teacher, artist, and speaker!

Sponsored by the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine, and the Wabanaki Studies Initiative of the Portland Public Schools.

[Photograph by James Francis]

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Hannaford Hall

88 Bedford Street

Portland, ME 04101

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