Office of Multicultural Affairs Land Acknowledgement
We would like to acknowledge that the land we live, work, learn and commune on is the original homelands of the Pennacook communities with the Pawtucket Village and Wamesit Village. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather.
Why we honor the land we inhabit?
“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. Imagine this practice widely adopted: imagine cultural venues, classrooms, conference settings, places of worship, sports stadiums, and town halls, acknowledging traditional lands.” U.S Department of Arts & Culture
Brief History of native peoples in Lowell land and surrounding communities
In the 1600s, the two Native settlements that could be found within the limits of what is today the city of Lowell were called Pawtucket and Wamesit. In the first decades of the 17th century, the town of Pawtucket was a major New England Indian settlement. The community was situated close to the falls, which today are named after the town. Typical for New England Native settlements, where town or village sites were not infrequently moved, Pawtucket’s location sometimes changed in the general area around the falls. In 1653, the Puritan missionary John Eliot lobbied for the establishment of a “praying town,” a community for Native “Christian converts,” called Wamesit. This community located where the Merrimack and the Concord rivers meet, just a short distance down river from the settlement of Pawtucket, was in what is today downtown Lowell. See more information about the Native American Trail.
Pawtucket Falls: A waterfall on the Merrimack River, named for the Indian Tribe whose members were the earliest known inhabitants of this area. The waterfall and rapids below it drop a total of 32 feet in a little under a mile. The Pawtucket’s village was on the north side of the Merrimack River near the falls. The residents took advantage of the Spring migration of salmon, alewives and shad and would hunt and grow corn during other months of the year. The Wamesit Village was located few miles downstream on the south side of the river where the Concord River flowed into the Merrimack. There is a monument to Sachem Pascomway at the Falls.