Eastern Woodland (Northeast) Tribes

Eastern Woodland – Northeast Tribes
Also known as Woodland IndiansEthnographers commonly classify indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits (called cultural areas). The following index links to further information about the native American indian tribes included the Northeast Woodlands region. Tribes are grouped by their original culture group, but this is often not where they live today.Northeast Location: Connecticut |Delaware | District of Columbia | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Vermont Upper Eastern Location: Indiana | Kentucky | North Carolina | Tennessee | Virginia | West Virginia The Eastern Woodland region spreads from the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Coast and south to the Ohio River Valley. As the name implies, this geographical area was mostly deciduous woodlands.
Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands (also known as Eastern Woodlands)include Native Americans and First Nations peoples originating from a cultural area encompassing the northeastern and Midwest United States and southeastern Canada. The Northeastern Woodlands is divided into three major areas: the Coastal, Saint Lawrence Lowlands, and Great Lakes-Riverine zones.
The Coastal area includes the Atlantic Provinces in Canada, the Atlantic seaboard of the United States, south to North Carolina. The Saint Lawrence Lowlands area includes parts of Southern Ontario, upstate New York, much of the Saint Lawrence River area, and Susquehanna Valley. The Great Lakes-Riverine area includes the remaining inland areas of the northeast, home to Central Algonquian and Siouan speakers.
The Great Lakes region are sometimes considered a distinct cultural region, due to the large concentration of tribes in the area. The Northeastern Woodlands region is bound by the Subarctic to the north, the Great Plains to the west, and the Southeastern Woodlands to the south.
Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas is based upon cultural regions, geography, and linguistics in the late 1500s.
Anthropologists have named various cultural regions, with fluid boundaries, that are generally agreed upon with some variation. These cultural regions are broadly based upon the locations of indigenous peoples of the Americas from early European and African contact beginning in the late 15th century. When indigenous peoples have been forcibly removed by nation-states, they retain their original geographic classification. Some groups span multiple cultural regions.
Eastern Woodland Tribes (Northeast)

Abenaki, – Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire – The Abenaki are from Ndakinna, “our land” of northern New England and southern Quebec, and are the western relatives of other Wabanaki groups in that region, including the Maine tribes of Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq. Abenaki people living in traditional territory in northern New England today include extended family bands who have remained in their traditional places such as the Lake Champlain Valley (Betobagw), Lake Memphramagog (Memlawbagw), the Connecticut River Valley (Kwinitekw), and the White Mountains (Wôbiadenak); citizens of the Odanak and Wolinak First Nations in Quebec; and several formally organized tribes of related families.
Accohannock – Maryland
Algonquian – lower Saint Lawrence River
Algonquins, – Outaouais and Abitibi in Quebec, Ontario
Anishinaabe (Anishinape, Anicinape, Neshnabé, Nishnaabe) (see also Subarctic, Plains Tribes)Beothuk formerly Newfoundland, no longer exist
Beothuk formerly Newfoundland, no longer exist
Chicora, Eastern NC South Carolina
Chowanoc in North Carolina
Congarees in North Carolina
Coree in North Carolina
Eno, North Carolina
Etchemin, Quebec (Maliseet
Hathawekela (Absentee Shawnee)
Ho-Chunk, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia

Winnebago, Wisconsin around Green Bay, now of Nebraska

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is composed of 6 tribes that are western neighbors of the New England tribes, with territories extending beyond the modern-day international boundary separating the United States and Canada.
Hopewell, Ohio and Black River region
Huron/Wyandot, Ontario south of Georgian Bay, now Oklahoma and Wendake, Quebec
Illinois (Illini), Illinois
Iroquois New York

Cayuga – The homeland of the Cayuga Nation of New York lays between the Seneca and Onondaga nations.
Laurentian/St. Lawrence Iroquoians

Saint Regis Mohawk is the U.S.-recognized tribal group of Mohawk.
For Canadian-based Mohawks, please see the following: Mohawks of Akwesasne
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
Mohawks of Kahnawake
Kanesatake First Nation

Oneida -The Oneida Indian Nation of New York is known as the first ally of the United States, having fought with the colonists against the British during the American Revolution.
Onondaga – The Onondaga Nation maintains its 7,300-acre territory just south of Syracuse, NY.
Seneca – The Senecas are the western-most nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. They have three reservations: the Allegany & Cattaraugus territories are part of the Seneca Nation of Indians, and the Tonawanda Senecas have their own reservation.
Tuscarora – The Tuscarora Nation reservation is located in Western New York.

Jaupin or Weapemoc. North Carolina.
Keyauwee, North Carolina
Kickapoo – Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico

Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

Lenni-Lenape, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, now Ontario and Oklahoma

Loup A

Machapunga in North Carolina
Maliseet, Maine, Quebec, and New Brunswick, Canada

Loup B

Maliseet – The band of the Maliseet Indians (Maine) in the United States are federally recognized as the Houlton Band of Maliseet.
Martha’s Vineyard Indians
Massachusett, Massachusetts
Mattabesec or Mattabesic
Meriden (tribe)
Miami, Indiana, now Oklahoma
Mingo, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia
Mohawk (New York)
Mohegan – The Mohegan Tribe is located in southeastern Connecticut.
Montauk New York
Narragansett, southern Rhode Island
Neusiok, North Carolina
Niantic (Eastern) (Western)
Nipissing, Ontario
Nipmuc, Massachusetts – The Nipmuc Indians are the tribal group occupying the central part of Massachusetts, northeastern Connecticut and northwestern Rhode Island. The Nipmuc Nation is a state-recognized band with approximately 500 enrolled members today based at the Hassanamisco Reservation (in Grafton, MA). This small 3-acre reservation is the only parcel of Nipmuc land never to have changed hands; its occupation by Nipmuc people dates back to before contact and colonization. The Nipmuc Indians of Massachusetts have several bands today, including the Chaubunagungamaug of Webster and Natick Nipmuc of Natick, in addition to the Nipmuc Nation.
Nottaway, North Carolina
Ojibwa (Chippewa, Ojibwe) Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Ottawa (Odawa), Ontario, Michigan

Mississaugas, Ontario
Montauk, New York
Naugatuck (people)

Passamaquoddy, Maine
Pee Dee (tribe)
Penobscot, Maine – The Penobscot Nation of Maine is one of the four Northeastern woodlands tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

Eastern Pequot Nation, located in southeastern Connecticut, is currently a state-recognized tribe with a reservation in North Stonington.
Mashantucket Pequot Nation, Connecticut – The Mashantucket Pequot Nation of Southeastern Connecticut resides on one of the oldest continuously occupied Indian reservations in America. Its tribal symbol is a fox, which stands as a vigilant reminder of the turbulent times they went through when Europeans first arrived in the early 17th century. The Pequot Nation was the first Native American group within United States to suffer an attempted genocide by Puritan colonists in 1637 (the Pequot War).

Paugusset (Connecticut)

The Golden Hill Paugussett have one of the oldest and smallest reservations in the country. Established in 1659, today the reservation is approximately ¼ of an acre, large enough for Chief Aurelius Pipers’ family. In 1659, the General Court of Hartford decided that the colonists had the right to take Paugussett lands, which became the city of Bridgeport. In return, the Indians were to receive an 80-acre tract of land known as “Golden Hill” which was granted “forever.” But the stealing of Paugussett land continued. Finally, in 1875 William Sherman purchased a 1/4 acre of land in Trumbull and gave it to the overseer to be held in trust for the Tribe forever. In 1939 the Attorney General wrote an opinion that the property was Tribal land for the Golden Hill people.

Peoria Illinois, now Oklahoma
Podunk (people)
Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation – Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Poospatuck, New York
Potawatomi, Ontario, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin
Potoskeet, North Carolina
Powhatan, Virginia
Quinnipiac, Connecticut, eastern New York, northern New Jersey, Long Island
Ramapough Mountain Indians New Jersey
Santee of South Carolina
Saponi, Virginia and North Carolina
Saulteaux (Nakawē), Ontario
Schaghticoke, Western Connecticut – The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has been recognized by the Colony and then the State of Connecticut as a separate and distinct American Indian tribal entity continually from historic time through the 20th century. Today, the Tribe has approximately 300 members. The historical and spiritual base of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is the Tribe’s approximately 400-acre reservation in Kent, Connecticut. The reservation is mountainous and rocky, with a small strip of flatland located on a flood plain along the Housatonic River.
Shawnee Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania [most ended up in Oklahoma]
Shakori, North Carolina
Shinnecock New York – The Shinnecock Indian Nation is located along the eastern shores of Long Island.
Tarrantine or Tarranteen – See Abenaki, or Micmac
Unquachog – The Unkechaug (“people from beyond the hill”) Indian Nation is based in New York, centered around the 55-acre Poospatuck (“where the waters meet”) Reservation on Long Island, N.Y. The church on the reservation is New York State’s oldest Mission church and is multi-denominational. Unkechaug territory is particularly noted for producing what is known as “black wampum,” the dark purple associated with certain parts of Long Island.
Wampanoag, Massachusetts –

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is based on Martha’s Vineyard.
Other Wampanoag groups include the Assonet Band, Herring Pond, Seaconke, and Pocasset.

Waxhaw in North Carolina and South Carolina
Wenrohronon, Pennsylvania and New York
Wyandot/Huron Ontario south of Georgian Bay, now Oklahoma and Wendake, Quebec


Great Basin
Great Plains

NW Coast
Sub Arctic


January 1, 2017

A number of legends have grown around the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812, most notable being a story about the Shawnee chief Tecumseh, who attempted to unify Native American tribes in response to encroachment by white settlers. In September 1811, his efforts were rebuffed at a meeting of southern tribes at Tuckhabatchee. Tecumseh angrily said that, upon returning to his home near present-day Detroit, Michigan, “I will stamp my foot on the ground and shake down every house in Tuckhabatchee.” About the time of his expected return to Detroit, the earthquakes happened.

Shawnee Indians
September 18, 2015

Ojibwe is virtually identical to Ottawa, Potawatomi and Algonkin, with a more distant relationship to the Illinois and Miami. After 1680, Ojibwe became the trade language in the northern Great Lakes because they were the most numerous tribe in the North.

Ojibwa / Chippewa
August 12, 2015

This article contains a list of links to more information on each of the tribes included in the Algonquian language group.

Many people mistakenly believe that Algonquian is the name of a specific tribe. While there is a loose confederation of Algonquin Nations in Canada, algonquian is actually a language group which includes many tribes who speak a related language which contains several dialects and many variations that stemmed from one once common language.

Algonquin Tribes
August 3, 2015

Despite the fact that the 1855 Treaty was intended to provide the Grand River Ottawa with permanent Reservation homelands, many officials representing the United States government responsible for protecting the Grand River Reservations actively assisted non-Indians in taking lands reserved for the Grand River people. Nearly two-thirds of the land within the Grand River Ottawa Reservations was transferred to non-Indians by 1880.

Ottawa Indians
August 3, 2015

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, George Mannypenny, had intended that the Reservations established for the Ottawa in the 1855 Treaty be clearly defined, protected from non-Indian intruders and that they be permanent. Unfortunately, many people, including people in government posts charged with protecting those Reservations, worked to undermine the goal of preserving the Ottawa peoples right to establish protected homelands on permanent Reservations. The 1855 treaty contained a carefully outlined 5-year timetable and process for Ottawa members to select 40-80 acre allotments within their reservations.

Ottawa Indians
August 3, 2015

The problems created for our Grand River Ottawa ancestors and relatives by the 1821 Treaty of Chicago and the 1836 Treaty of Washington continued to grow during the 1840s and early 1850s. The Senate hoped that by limiting the Ottawa’s right to remain on their Reservations, they would be influenced to relocate to Kansas.

Ottawa Indians
August 3, 2015

The 1820s and 1830s were years of great change for Ottawa communities. Fur trade hunting practices had depleted most animal species. The American Fur Company which bought furs that Ottawa hunters and trappers collected, was a major economic and political power in the Michigan Territory. The Company was losing money. Company owners and operatives wanted Ottawa leaders to sell their lands to pay off debts to the Company.

Ottawa Indians
June 17, 2014

The Nashua (or  Nashaway or Weshacum) were a sub-tribe of the Western Abenaki branch of the Algonquain Indians. They lived along the upstream portions of the Nashua River valley in what is now the northern half of Worcester County, Massachusetts, near Mount Wachusett.

Abenaki Indians

Cocheco Indians

June 17, 2014

The Cocheco Indians were a sub-tribe of Western Abenaki. They lived in an area known as Wecohamet. Today, we call it Dover, New Hampshire. Dover is the oldest permanent European settlement in New Hampshire, and the seventh oldest in the United States.

Abenaki Indians
June 14, 2014

The Amaseconti Tribe (also known as Odanak, or St. Francis River Abenakis) was a small division or band of the Abenaki , formerly residing partly at Farmington Falls on the Sandy River in Franklin County, Maine, and partly near the present day town of New Sharon between the upper Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers in western Maine.

Abenaki Indians
July 31, 2012

In order to become a member of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, you must be able to prove pre-recognition ties to Aroostook County, Maine before November 26, 1991, and provide documentation to prove your Aroostook ancestry. Other requirements include:

  • You must have the certification within the application notarized.
  • Provide a Certified Birth Certificate, which will be returned to you after copies are made for your file.
  • You must be a United States citizen.
    Abenaki Indians
January 16, 2011

Seneca Indians were the westernmost indian nation within the Six Nations or Iroquois League, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy. They are also known as “Iroquois Indians.”

The word ‘Seneca‘ came from the name of one of their villages, Osininka. Seneca Indians called themselves Onandowaga, which means “People of the Great Hill.”

Seneca Indians