The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians belonged to the loose confederation of eastern American Indians known as the Wabanaki Alliance, together with the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Mi'kmaq, and Abenaki Indians. The Maliseet live primarily in Canada, especially New Brunswick, with one band across the border in nearby Maine.

Official Tribal Name: Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians of Maine

Address: 
Phone:  Toll Free 1-800-564-8524 (In State), Toll Free 1-800-545-8524 (Out of State)
Fax:   (207) 532-2660
Email:

Official Website: www.maliseets.com 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

The Maliseet's own name for themselves is Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet is a Mi'kmaq word for someone who can't talk very well,) but today they are usually known as Maliseets or Malecites.

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Misspellings:

Wolastoqiyik, Wolastoqewi,  Etchemin, St. John's Indians, Malécites, Malecite, Malécites, Skicin. Formerly known as the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians of Maine.

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Region: Northeast 

State(s) Today: Maine, New Brunswick, Canada 

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Confederacy:

The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, near relatives and long-time allies who spoke dialects of the same language, banded together against European and Iroquois aggression with their neighbors the Abenakis, Penobscots, and Micmacs. The resulting Wabanaki Confederacy was no more than a loose alliance, however, and neither the Passamaquoddy nor the Maliseet nation ever gave up their sovereignty. 

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Number of Council members:   6 council members plus Chief
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Number of Executive Officers:  Tribal Chief

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The chief is elected every four years. Tribal council members are elected every four years on staggered terms. 

Language Classification:  Algonquuian ->Maliseet-Passamaquoddy ->Maliseet and Passamaquoddy

Language Dialects:

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy is an Algonquian language with two major dialects: Maliseet (or Malécite), spoken mainly in New Brunswick, and Passamaquoddy (or Peskotomuhkati), spoken mostly in Maine.

Number of fluent Speakers:

There are 1500 speakers of both dialects combined. Very few people in the younger generations speak Maliseet or (especially) Passamaquoddy, which means that the language will die out within this century unless language revival efforts can successfully restore its use among Passamaquoddy and Maliseet children. 

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Tribe History:

The Maliseet tribe belonged to the loose confederation of eastern American Indians known as the Wabanaki Alliance, together with the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Mi'kmaq, and Abenaki Indians. The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people were closely related neighbors who shared a common language, but though the French referred to both tribes collectively as Etchemin, they always considered themselves politically independent.

The tribes of the east coast were extremely confusing to the Europeans, who couldn't understand why there were dozens of small groups of Native Americans who lived together yet claimed to be separate nations.

What the Europeans did not realize was that the east coast had not been nearly as empty before they got there. Smallpox and other European diseases had decimated the Indian populations, killing an estimated 90% of the indigenous population on the east coast over a short ten year peiod in the early 1600s. The survivors regrouped as best they could with whatever survivors they found in neighboring tribes.

The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, near relatives and long-time allies who spoke dialects of the same language, banded together against European and Iroquois aggression with their neighbors the Abenakis, Penobscots, and Micmacs. The resulting Wabanaki Confederacy was no more than a loose alliance, however, and neither the Passamaquoddy nor the Maliseet nation ever gave up their sovereignty.

Maliseet Language:

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy is an Algonquian language with two major dialects: Maliseet (or Malécite), spoken mainly in New Brunswick, and Passamaquoddy (or Peskotomuhkati), spoken mostly in Maine. There are 1500 speakers of both dialects combined. Very few people in the younger generations speak Maliseet or (especially) Passamaquoddy, which means that the language will die out within this century unless language revival efforts can successfully restore its use among Passamaquoddy and Maliseet children.

SOURCE: This history first appeared at www.native-languages.org, one of the best online resources for Native Languages of the Americas.

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