Fredericton History - Native Indians

Cougar Statue in Odell Park The St. John River, with its wide, deep waters, was the transportation lifeline that brought people to its rich, fertile shores. For hundreds of years, long before our bend in the river was named Fredericton, it was a seasonal stop for Maliseet and Mi'kmaq (Micmac) Indians who hunted, fished, grew corn and squash along the Woolastook - their name for the St. John River.

The British made various Maritime peace and friendship treaties (between 1725 and 1776) with the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet people in what was to become Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with the main concerns of the British colonial administration being to create ongoing peaceful relations between themselves and the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet. In exchange for peace and respect for British civil and criminal law, the Crown promised the various nations of Mi'kmaq and Maliseet Indian that they could continue to hunt and fish, trade with the British, and continue their customary and religious practices. These treaties did not involve the cession of any land.

Today, the first nations reserves for the Maliseet are along the Saint John River, and the reserves for the Mi'kmaq are along the Gulf of St Lawrence coastline.

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