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Indigenous Peoples of the United States

This guide will serve as a introduction for any student interested in the history and culture of the native peoples in the United States.

A History of the Indigenous Tribes in the New England Area

In the 400 years since the Mayflower landed in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, Indigenous peoples in New England have struggled to remain on their native lands.  With the arrival of white settlers in the 1400s, many died through settler violence or disease.  Those that remained were slowly dispossessed of their remaining lands and marginalized by white settler communities.  Nipmucs (Native to the present day Worcester area) and other groups indigenous to New England were said to have disappeared by the close of the 17th century.   Yet many held on, and native communities within New England remain strong and vibrant today, even in the face of continued discrimination and a public discourse that mainly excludes them, except in mythologized, romantic or stereotypical ways. 

As Thomas L. Doughton states in a chapter from After King Philips War

Nineteenth-Century Natives in Central Massachusetts persistently affirmed their identity and lived the actuality of their extended kinship-based community. They are “absent” only in a discourse laboring to erase them as part of a dynamic and engaged continued presence of aboriginal people within their traditional homelands. Regional Indians remain a “vanished” people, who are not “seen” because they are assumed to be already “gone,” but this is so only within contemporary prolongation of this discourse.


Calloway, C. G. (1997). After King Philip's War : Presence and Persistence in Indian New England. University Press of New England.

For more information on the culture and history of tribes native to the New England area:

New England Native American Groups - A National Geographic article the gives a great overview on the issue

Local Tribes

Hassanamisco Nipmuc


Narragansett Tribe


Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe


See below link for a comprehensive list of tribes in the New England area

Native Nations of New England