Native people have lived in the area now called Maine for many thousands of years. And as in all cultures, and evidenced in the archaeological record, technologies and traditions changed over time.
The first encounters between Native Americans and Europeans in the 1500s and 1600s, for instance, brought about far reaching changes in the lives of all involved. For Native people, disease, increased warfare, different tools and technologies, and new religions would change their cultures forever. Despite all of these changes, the Wabanaki people have persisted. Many of their early traditions have survived and continue to be important in lives of present day communities.
Today, the four Maine Indian tribes are the Maliseet, Micmac, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy, known collectively as the Wabanaki, "People of the Dawnland." Each community maintains
its own tribal government, community schools, cultural center and each manages its respective lands and natural resources. Although most of Maine's Native people belong to one of these four federally recognized groups and reside on tribal lands, other Native people live in towns and cities across the State.