The Passamaquoddy people have lived and thrived in their ancestral homelands (in what is now Maine and also part of New Brunswick) for over 12,000 years. Passamaquoddy is an English version of the tribe’s name for themselves, Peskotomuhkat, meaning “people that spear pollock.”
With the traditional territory of the Passamaquoddy centering around the Skutik (or St. Croix) River and Passamaquoddy Bay, the tribe has traditionally relied on fish and seafood for much of their diet.
The Passamaquoddy language is still spoken in Passamaquoddy schools. In 2008, a Passamaquoddy-Maliseet dictionary was published by the University of Maine with some 18,000 entries.
You can visit the online language portal here:
Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Portal
Today the Passamaquoddy tribe has two reservations, Motahkomikuk (Indian Township), an inland village perched on the shores of Big Lake in eastern Maine, and Sipayik (Pleasant Point), a coastal village on the edge of Passamaquoddy Bay.
These villages are connected by the Skutik River, and members of the tribe make an annual pilgrimage between the two villages by canoe. While the Passamaquoddy historically lived on both sides of the Skutik River, the territorial boundary between the United States and Canada, Passamaquoddy people in Canada do not have Indian Status.
The Passamaquoddy, along with the Penobscot Nation, achieved federal recognition in the United States in 1975. There are currently over 3,000 Passamaquoddy citizens.