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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 5, Issue 2, Fall 2013

Melissa Otis
Pages 7-34

“Location of Exchange”: Algonquian and Iroquoian Occupation in the Adirondacks Before and After Contact

Despite westernized reports to the contrary, occupation occurred in the Adirondacks before and after European contact. Seasonal encampments scattered throughout the region were part of Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples labour for resource gathering that occurred year-round and for extended periods. The area also became a haven from colonial warfare for some Indigenous peoples; these communities dispersed by the mid-nineteenth century. Land pressures around the reservations of Akwesasne and Odanak forced some peoples to go elsewhere. A few who chose the Adirondacks settled there until White homesteaders moved nearby chasing away game. By the mid-nineteenth century especially Abenaki families settled around established tourist towns. I argue these are all examples of Indigenous occupation and we need to acknowledge this and how their occupation adapted over time.

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