Clearly New Hampshire native peoples are becoming more visible,
so be aware that there are several “bands” living in New England.
One such band is the Koasek (Cowasuck) Traditional Abenaki Nation, based in Newbury, Vermont. As of May 3, 2006 they were recognized by the State of Vermont as a minority. Two members of this band were appointed to the VT Commission of Native American Affairs by VT Governor Jim Douglas–namely Mark Mitchell (chairman), and Howard Lyons.
I received an email from Nancy Lyons, who is Lifetime Chief (along with Brian Chenevert). Chief Nancy Lyons was raised in New Hampshire and attended Woodsville Elementary, North Haverhill Elementary, Haverhill Academy and Woodsville High School. Her great-grandmother was born in Jefferson, New Hampshire, and her roots go back 8000 (yes, that is eight THOUSAND) years.
She has been instrumental in bringing visibility to her kindred native family through cultural events that are open to the public. She founded the Sagakwa Native American Cultural Weekend (to honor her grandmother) in Littleton New Hampshire over ten years ago.
Now a new event called HAWIHLA is slated for 2007. It will honor all the thousands of Abenaki and other Nations and will fulfill the prophecy that “we will one day be returning home.” Nawihla is an Abenaki word meaning “I am returning home“.
After an absence of three hundred years, the Abenaki are returning to the town of Haverhill, New Hampshire. On June 1, 2 and 3, 2007 the Koasek (Cowasuck) Abenaki Nation and many other Nations will celebrate NAWIHLA Native American Cultural Week and Pow Wow. It will be held throughout the Haverhill-Newbury New Hampshire area for a week long celebration and will end the first weekend on June with a three day Pow Wow on the Community Field in Woodsville.
To learn more about this event, or the Koasek, you may call Chief Nancy Lyons at 802-234-4095, or send an email to Raymond Big Bear LeMay, their Public Affairs Officer at Info@Cowasuckabenaki.org..
P.S. Also see New Hampshire’s Native Americans: Hiding in Plain Sight.
PLEASE NOTE: Several responses to this original blog post have been deleted at the posters request. Any additional comments must be of a commentary nature, rather than a personal one, else they will be deleted. Please be courteous.
March 2013: I was contacted by someone representing a different Koasek band, namely Koasek Chief Paul “Gwilawato” Bunnell of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation, and he provided me with a web site link for the Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation.