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Getting in Touch: Peoples and Tribes of Massachusetts

Updated: Jul 13

Contacting Area Tribes to Report Features of Indigenous Heritage or to Request Cultural Engagement


Indigenous peoples exist as both tribal members and extra-tribal families. Most historic tribes are still not recognized, and recognized tribes operate with limited resources and staff. Many tribes have limited capacity to respond to archaeological and cultural needs.

It is respectful and ethical to report encounters with sacred stone features, archaeological items, and to request cultural engagement with those Indigenous people who have ancestral ties to the place of concern.


Determining who is ancestrally Indigenous to a place requires understanding of history and culture. Indigenous individuals and nations can determine their own level of interest once they have been informed of a situation or request for cultural engagement. Even nations who did not live in Massachusetts sometimes take an interest in places where they visited.


To begin learning more about who is ancestral to a place, we recommend reading posted self-histories of tribes.


Today, the historic Agawam, Woronok, Nolwottog, Nashawe Nipmuk, and Pacomtuck peoples of the Connecticut Valley do not have recognition, along with Pennacook; their descendants live among the Schaghticoke/Scaticook of Connecticut and neighboring New York, Odanak Abenaki of southern Quebec, and to a lesser extent among other neighboring nations and as families:


Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (Connecticut) https://schaghticoke.com/contact-us/


Schaghticoke Nation (New York) - https://www.schaghticoke.info/


Odanak Abenaki Council (Southern Quebec) https://caodanak.com/en/contact-us/


Alphabetical List of Recognized Indigenous Nations Having Historical Legacy in Massachusetts (current location given in parenthesis; does not define historic homeland):


Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (Martha’s Vineyard) - https://wampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/contact-us

Chappaquiddick Tribe of the Wampanoag Indian Nation (Martha’s Vineyard) - https://chappaquiddickwampanoag.org/contact-us

Chaubunagungamaug Band of the Nipmuck Nation (Blackstone Valley area) - https://www.nipmuck.org/contact.html

Hassanamessit Nipmuc Nation (Central East) - https://www.nipmucnation.org/who-to-contact

Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe (Southeast) -https://www.herringpondtribe.org/contact-us/

Mashpee Wamapnoag Tribe (Cape Cod) - https://mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/contact-us

Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation (Southeast) -https://www.pocassetpokanoket.com/contact-us/

Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe (Southeast) -https://www.seaconkewampanoag.org/contact

Stockbridge Munsee-Mohican (Wisconsin) - https://www.mohican.com/historicpreservation/


Out-of-State Recognized Tribes with Historic Occupancy in Massachusetts:


Elnu Abenaki (Vermont) - http://elnuabenakitribe.org/contact_us

Mississiquoi - Sokoki Abenaki (Vermont) - https://www.abenakination.com/

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (New York) - https://www.srmt-nsn.gov/contact


Recognized Non-Residing Tribes with Cultural Resource Interests in Massachusetts:

Mohegan Tribe (Connecticut)

Narragansett Tribe (Rhode Island)



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