People Group Profiles

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Abenaki, Penobscot of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 2,600

ROP3 Code: 100021
IMB Affinity Group: American Peoples
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Language: English - (eng)
Religion: Ethnic Religions
Country of Origin: United States

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Majority Located Where

  Bangor, ME - 2,600

Located in central Maine, going north on Interstate Highway 95 near Old Town and the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and into Canada.

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Brief Profile

Traditionally, the Penobscot, Abenaki of the United States and the Abenaki of Canada people spoke an Algonkian language spoken within the Wabanaki Confederacy of tribes. Their language contained complex verbs and a fairly free word order. In time, the language began to fade and English was used. Several elders still speak some of the language and are working to revive its use.

Together with the Mikmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Abenaki, they were once members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, enemies of the Iroquois. These various peoples were from the eastern seaboard region related languages, and "Abenaki" and "Wabanaki" have the same Algonquian root, meaning "people from the east." The Penobscot, Abenaki of the United States are not affiliated with the Abenakis in Canada, and distance themselves from the Abenaki of New England.

Located in the state of Maine and across the Maine border into Canada, they were known as "Easterners" because of their proximity geographically among their other related tribal groups.

Today, they predominantly reside in Old Town (Maine), which is just north of Milford and slightly northwest of the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. In the past thirty years, they have been able to buy back some of their ancestral lands, and today they are a sovereign nation working to maintain their traditions, language, and self-sufficiency.

Their tradition describes Gluskabe as the creator of man and women. Legends which explained phenomena such as the wind and the growing of corn were passed down orally from generation to generation. With the arrival of the French colonists, some converted to Christianity. However, there are a wide range of religions practiced on Indian island of Penobscot and among the Abenaki in general.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the few remaining Abenaki speakers as they seek to revive their mother tongue.
  • Pray for boldness among the few evangelical Abenaki as they share their faith in both word and deed.
  • Pray God will work among the Abenaki people as a whole to understand, believe, and live out the Christian life

People Group Resources

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Learning Resources

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World Religions - Beliefs Overview
An overview of major world religions and cults - their beliefs and practices.

Other Resources

Know God in 98 Languages
A CRU resource with 9 different witnessing models (e.g. 4 Spiritual Laws, etc.) in 98 languages.

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Online Talking Bible - English
The purpose of Talking Bibles is to give non-readers and the blind access to the Bible in their native language.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

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Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesMilfordBangorME2,600