Plenary I: An inclusive future out of an inherited past

This session will tell two stories that uncover the extraordinary history of seemingly ordinary people and places. But however extraordinary, they were erased from the Maine and NH coastal history. Both stories explore history through integrated, collaborative approaches that draw on science, archeology, and merging Indigenous, local and western knowledges.

We’ll hear the archaeologically-informed story of a mixed race African-American community c. 1860-1912 on Malaga Island, Maine where residents were forced to leave their homes and community.  We will look at interactions between the people and their environment, how the descendants reclaimed their heritage, and lessons that can be applied to other coastal areas.

The Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People are concerned about coastal changes that threaten Indigenous sacred and historical sites. A coastal archeological site in Great Bay, NH is among these sites where evidence of indigenous and colonial co-existence and even friendship can be discovered in the sandy soil.


Historical Archaeology of the Malaga Island Fishing Community, New Meadows River, Casco Bay

We will present the archaeologically informed story of a mixed race African -American community c. 1860-1912 on Malaga Island in the New Meadows River mouth.  A rebirth of cultural awareness arose as Malaga descendants reclaimed their heritage. The Island is now protected, but coastal cultural resources are imperiled by sea-level rise and the need for historical awareness.

Robert Sanford, Department of Environmental Science & Policy, University of Southern Maine

Nathan D. Hamilton, Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine

Robert M. Sanford is a Registered Professional Archaeologist. He is a Professor of Environmental Science & Policy at the University of Southern Maine, where he has taught since 1996, and collaborated with Nathan Hamilton in the summer archaeology program. He is the co-author of Cultural Resources Archaeology and Practicing Archaeology, and the author of Reading Rural Landscapes.

Nathan D. Hamilton received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been teaching archaeology and anthropology in the Geography-Anthropology Program in the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine since 1987. His research interests include historic and American Indian archaeology of New England, maritime adaptations, and analysis of basketry and textiles. He excavated the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers, Mass. as part of a Public Archaeology partnership with DALCO and at numerous sites surrounding Casco Bay, Maine.  In the past 10 years he has taught for the Shoals Marine Laboratory and excavated the 17th century European cod fishing station on Smuttynose Island at the Isles of Shoals. Most recently, he co-authored three chapters in the Glory, Trouble, and Renaissance at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology book edited by Malinda S. Blustain and Ryan Wheeler (2018).


Decolonizing Our Landscapes with Indigenous Knowledge — Past, Present, and Future

The Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People have been concerned about the numerous coastal changes that have affected our coastline and rivers since colonial settlement. We will discuss the increasing acknowledgment of climate change as well as the human interference that has resulted in aquatic life loss and other areas of degradation containing Indigenous sacred and historical places of interest. This presentation will explore numerous areas of Indigenous concern such as coastal erosion, archeological and shell midden site loss, aquatic life and shellfish restoration, dam removal, invasive species removal and water quality.  Attendees will gain a better understanding of Indigenous coastal concerns, have the opportunity to have questions addressed by the presenters, and leave with ways to take action to help us meet our social and environmental justice goals.

Denise Pouliot, the Sag8moskwa (Female Head Speaker) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People

Paul Pouliot, The Sag8mo (Head Male Speaker) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People

Meghan C.L. Howey, Anthropology Department, University of New Hampshire

Paul W. and Denise K. Pouliot are the Sag8mo and Sag8moskwa (Male and Female Head Speakers) of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People. Paul is an Indigenous historian, lecturer is a founding member of the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs where Denise currently serves as Vice Chair; and in her spare time Denise creates coil, bark or woven baskets and produces traditional ceremonial clothing.  Together they serve as Federal Religious Advisors, Affiliate Faculty members of the UNH Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor, are founding members of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective, and recipients of the UNH Platinum Sustainability Award for community building and also named as one of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) 60 individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the natural world in honor of TNC’s 60 years of conservation in New Hampshire.

Meghan C.L. Howey, a professor of the anthropology department at the University of New Hampshire, is an anthropological archaeologist who examines the effect human societies have on natural systems. Making use of geographic data and ethnohistoric research and collaborating with local tribal communities, Dr. Howey has explored how European colonists transformed the ecology of North American estuaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. She serves as director of the Great Bay Archaeological Survey, a community-based program focused on excavating and studying an early colonial site in New Hampshire.