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HOME: The Story of Maine

"A Part of the Main": European Settlement of the Mainland
Lesson 1: Culture and Resource Use
Assignment 1

Conflict between European and Wabanaki cultures over land use was a frequent occurrence on the Maine frontier. You and a partner will have an opportunity to attempt to solve one of these conflicts. Pair up with a classmate and choose one of the scenarios below. Write a conversation that takes place between an English settler and a Wabanaki Indian during the colonial period. Your discussion should reflect your understanding of the different methods of land and resource use between the two cultures.

Follow the guidelines below.

Scenarios:

1. English settlers in the town of Kittery have built a new dam on the Piscataqua River, in order to power the sawmill they are erecting there. The dam has blocked the seasonal migration of anadromous fish, which normally swim upstream in the spring to spawn. The Wabanaki Indians in the area can no longer fish in the spot they are accustomed to fishing. How will the Wabanakis receive the food they need? How will the English settlers mill enough wood for their homes and materials? What can be done about this problem?

2. On the outskirts of the town of York, cattle owned by English settlers have trampled the fields of neighboring Wabanaki Indians, ruining their crops of corn, beans, and squash. Two Wabanaki men responded by killing the cattle responsible for the deed. Now, the English farmer who owned the cattle has no source of milk or meat for the upcoming winter. He and his wife are demanding justice. What can be done about this problem?

3. An English settler from the Penobscot Bay area purchases land from a Wabanaki Indian from the same area, with the understanding that the Indian and his family would still be able to hunt deer and trap beaver, and gather berries and nuts on the land. A few years later, the Englishman finds that another settler has bought the same plot of land from the same Wabanaki Indian. The settler complains to the local court, demanding that he be confirmed as the sole owner of the land. The Wabanaki man claims that he understood the sale to be only an agreement to share the use of the land. How can this problem be solved?

A. In your conversation, you must:

  1. Indicate the setting, i.e. where the discussion is taking place.
  2. Describe the problem and how it affects both the European and Indian communities.
  3. Offer a plausible solution to the problem that takes into account the needs and demands of each community.

B. Your conversation should be:

  1. Five to ten minutes long.
  2. Well-rehearsed and delivered in front of the class in a convincing manner.
  3. Handed in on the day of your presentation.


Grading Rubric 1

After you have written and performed your conversation, evaluate your own performance using the following criteria. Your teacher will use the same criteria when assigning you a grade.

An A conversation will:

  • Meet all of the requirements listed above.
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the different ways that Wabanaki Indians and European colonists used the land and its resources.
  • Offer an innovative and fair solution to the problem.
  • Show an outstanding effort.

A B conversation will:

  • Meet requirements 1-3 under Section A and requirements 1 and 3 under section B (above).
  • Be satisfactorily rehearsed.
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of the different ways that Wabanaki Indians and European colonists used the land and its resources.
  • Show a very good effort.

A C conversation will:

  • Meet requirements 1 and 2 under Section A (above).
  • Be 4-5 minutes long.
  • Demonstrate a fair understanding of the different ways that Wabanaki Indians and European colonists used the land and its resources.
  • Show a solid effort.
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