The River to which I Belong: Relationships of Reciprocity and Resistance in the Waterways of Wabanaki -- A lecture by Lisa Brooks
Sep
28
4:00 PM16:00

The River to which I Belong: Relationships of Reciprocity and Resistance in the Waterways of Wabanaki -- A lecture by Lisa Brooks

In 1739, the Wabanaki leader Polin traveled from the Presumpscot River down the coast to Boston to protest the dams that blocked the passage of the abundant fish on which his community depended. Wabanaki people had developed and sustained a dynamic, reciprocal relationship with salmon on the Presumpscot River over thousands of years, a relationship which was directly threatened by both colonial wars and colonial development, including intensive deforestation, powered by dams. Polin’s protest was not an exceptional event but part of a long-term, adaptive resistance, arising from a vast and multifaceted community within the Wabanaki homeland, which continues today.

About Lisa Brooks:

Lisa Brooks is an Abenaki writer and scholar who lives and works in the Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley. She is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College and is active in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, which she chaired from 2013-2017. While an undergraduate at Goddard College, Lisa worked in the tribal office of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, on aboriginal rights and land preservation cases; this was the place she received her most important education—on the land and at kitchen tables, with other Abenaki community members. Learning from her family has been vital – she collaborated with her sister, environmental studies scholar Cassandra Brooks, to research and write “The Reciprocity Principle and ITEK: Understanding the Significance of Indigenous Protest on the Presumpscot,” published in the International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies in 2010. Lisa’s first book, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast(University of Minnesota Press 2008), which focused on the recovery of Native writing and spaces, received the Media Ecology Association's Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture in 2011. Her most recent book, Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, which begins and ends in Casco Bay, received the Bancroft Award for History and Diplomacy and the New England Society Book Award for Historical Nonfiction in 2019. As a Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, she worked with a team of students and colleagues, to develop a companion website, www.ourbelovedkin.com, which features full color digital maps of Native space. Lisa was honored in 2018 with the Maine Historical Society’s Neal Allen Award for exceptional contributions to Maine history.

Lecture Co-sponsor: The Osher Map Library.

Lecture Co-sponsor: College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Location: USM's Hannaford Hall - located in the Abromson Community Education Center on the Portland Campus at 88 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104

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Three Sisters Harvest Dinner & Annual Celebration
Sep
14
5:30 PM17:30

Three Sisters Harvest Dinner & Annual Celebration

Join Friends of the Presumpscot River for a special evening to honor our river’s natural heritage, commemorate historic & current efforts to protect it and support its ongoing restoration.

5:30 PM - Gather at The Farm at Conant Homestead, on a section of Portland Trails looking east toward the Presumpscot River, where the Friends will lead a walk past the memorial to Chief Polin (The Penobscot chief) who led the first documented dam protest in New England during the mid-1700s, advocating for fish passage to protect a vital food source for his people of the “dawn-land”).
6:30 PM – Three Sisters Harvest dinner & Friends of the Presumpscot River's annual celebration. Gather together to enjoy good food, drink and conversation! Suggested donation of $50.00 per person to help support Friends of the Presumpscot River’s continued efforts to restore fish passage, improve water quality and bring back the natural character of our river.

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Brown Street Paddle & Grill
Jul
24
5:00 PM17:00

Brown Street Paddle & Grill

Join us for a fun family-friendly event on the river. Meet at Brown Street Boat Ramp (near the RR bridge, across the river from the baseball fields) where FOPR and professional guides from Portland Paddle will help outfit you with a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to try for free (or catch a ride with an experienced paddler if you’re new to these sports). Opportunity Alliance will host a BBQ and the Locker Project will be giving fresh produce to participants! The Presumpscot River is the largest freshwater input into Casco Bay. Its name, "Presumpscot", originates from the local Abenaki word meaning "many falls" or "many rough places", revealing its true natural identity; however, we will be on the calm part of this many faceted waterway!

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Driving tour of the Presumpscot River
Jul
18
9:00 AM09:00

Driving tour of the Presumpscot River

Short by most standards, the Presumpscot River rolls 25 miles, from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay. However, in that short distance it drops over 270 feet! Join Michael Shaughnessy, President of FOPR, for a driving tour of key spots along the river to hear about the history and future of this amazing waterway. We will meet up at 9 AM at Quill Books & Beverage parking lot (across from CVS at 1 Westbrook Common #5, Westbrook, ME 04092) and leave from there, carpooling if desired.

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Driving tour of the Presumpscot River
Jul
12
9:00 AM09:00

Driving tour of the Presumpscot River

Short by most standards, the Presumpscot River rolls 25 miles, from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay. However, in that short distance it drops over 270 feet! Join Michael Shaughnessy, President of FOPR, for a driving tour of key spots along the river to hear about the history and future of this amazing waterway. We will meet up at 9 AM at Quill Books & Beverage parking lot (across from CVS at 1 Westbrook Common #5, Westbrook, ME 04092) and leave from there, carpooling if desired.

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Samuel James at the Conant Homestead
Jun
28
6:00 PM18:00

Samuel James at the Conant Homestead

The Conant Homestead, on the bank of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, is honored to be initiating our summer music series with the brilliant Samuel James. Samuel James' songwriting has been compared to Leonard Cohen's and his guitar virtuosity to that of Jimi Hendrix. To have his stories and sound among the gardens and grounds of the Conant Homestead will be nothing less than magic. It is a BYOB/chair and food event. Come early and mingle with the goats, pigs and chickens, or walk on the Conant Trails down to the Presumpscot River. Visit the Chief Polin Memorial. Bring a picnic or take out from our many fine local restaurants. Water will be provided. Area businesses and FOPR will have information available at tables. The Farm opens at 6:00 pm and the music starts at 7:30 pm. Suggested donation of $10.00 with proceeds going to the musicians. See also our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/378534352794919/

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To the Sea and Back! A lecture by Ciaran Shaughnessy
Jun
8
5:30 PM17:30

To the Sea and Back! A lecture by Ciaran Shaughnessy

Come listen to Ciaran Shaughnessy’s lecture: “To the sea and back: why a freshwater fish wanders into the ocean and how it finds its way home.” This talk will discuss current hypotheses on the unanswered question “How did anadromy evolve?” and provide a general overview of the physiological drivers that propel fish to migrate to the ocean and eventually guide them back home to the river. Ciaran grew up in Maine, making frequent use of the many paddling, swimming, and fishing opportunities along the Presumpscot River, and is now a research biologist at the University of Massachusetts studying migratory fishes. And afterwards, we will drive to Mill Brook to see the Alewife run!

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Planting The Seeds of Recognition - Chief Polin Planting
Sep
15
10:30 AM10:30

Planting The Seeds of Recognition - Chief Polin Planting

The ground is prepared and the plants are ready to be joined with our mother earth. Come help Friends of the Presumpscot finish the work and plant our native Maine species around the Polin Memorial so generations to come can have an authentic experience and learn the "real" history of Chief Polin and his legacy to save the Presumpscot River. Meet at 89 Conant Street, Westbrook, ME, The Farm at Conant Homestead.

Plants generously donated by Piersons Nurseries, Biddeford
http://www.piersonnurseries.com/

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 Friends of the Presumpscot Paddle from Mallison Falls to Westbrook
Sep
9
1:00 PM13:00

Friends of the Presumpscot Paddle from Mallison Falls to Westbrook

Join Friends of the Presumpscot River and Portland Paddle for a river float, paddling from Mallison Falls to the Lincoln Street  boat launch in Westbrook.  Then join us afterwards at The Farm at Conant Homestead, at 89 Conant Street in Westbrook for sunset at the farm, with light refreshments and conviviality.  During the float,  we will highlight features along the river. 

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River Films - Where the Rivers Flow North & Super Salmon
Sep
8
7:30 PM19:30

River Films - Where the Rivers Flow North & Super Salmon

Join Friends of the Presumpscot at 89 Conant Street in Westbrook, ME, for a family friendly outdoor movie night, and then settle in for some fun river-film entertainment. First we will be showing SUPER SALMON, a short documentary, and then our feature film will be:

WHERE THE RIVERS FLOW NORTH— Director: Jay Craven
Writers: Howard Frank Mosher (novel), Don Bredes 
Stars: Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, Bill Raymond - In 1927,

In Kingdom County, Vermont, a large dam is to be built, however, Noel Lord, a logger and cedar-oil harvester, won't give up his lifetime lease on land that will be flooded. The dam company increases its offer of cash, but Noel refuses. He asks for a trade: a stand of pines for his lease. The company rejects that deal, but offers to make Noel a Ranger in a new park. Noel, meanwhile, talks with his Indian mate, the spirited Bangor, about their moving to Oregon and buying a saw mill. She wants him to take the company's money, but he's pig-headed. Is Noel headed for confrontation with the company and the law, or can Bangor prevail to affect a truce?

Bring a sunset picnic early and swim in the river if you wish. Please bring your own food, drink and chairs. Camaraderie in our cause and fun provided!

Bring a sunset picnic early and swim in the river if you wish. Please bring your own food, drink and chairs. Camaraderie in our cause and fun provided!

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River Cleanup and Social
Aug
19
10:30 AM10:30

River Cleanup and Social

Come help clean-up the our river - “the river to which we belong.” Meet at the Presumpscot River trail head off of Forest Avenue, RTE 302, across from Riverton Trolly Park by the water treatment plant. Boats  available onsite or bring your own boat. Paddlers are responsible for bringing water, sunscreen or any other necessary personal items for the float. PFDS are required., and all participants will be asked to complete a release form when they arrive.  Please remember to bring snacks and water.

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Chief Polin Acknowledgement planting
Aug
11
10:00 AM10:00

Chief Polin Acknowledgement planting

Come help landscape the Chief Polin Memorial Site, just off of Portland Trails, Westbook, and give thanks to the earth, river and sky. We are planting native Maine species, (generously donated by Pierson Nurseries in Biddeford).Come ready to work in the soil and bring a fork and shovel if you can. Please RSVP by replying to this site or to Michael Shaughnessy at smallbirdsflying@gmail.com -so we know how many people are lending their loving hands.

In the 1750s Abenaki leader Chief Polin began a struggle to restore fish passage to the Presumpscot. In 1992, more than 250 years later, Friend's picked up Polin's mantel and began fighting for fish passage, improved water quality and restoration of the natural character of the Presumpscot after two and a half centuries of industrialization.

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Sep
7
5:30 PM17:30

The River Runs through Us – Saccarappa’s Past, Present & Future

Help us celebrate 25 years advocating for our river. Join Friends of the Presumpscot River for a presentation with Mayor Mike Sanphy on Saccarappa's industrial history and how it shaped Westbrook, followed by a discussion on the city’s current and future plans for revitalizing the downtown area and Main Street.

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