Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Wabanaki Studies: Stewarding Natural Resources

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Science & Engineering -- Earth & Space Sciences
  • Social Studies -- Geography
  • Social Studies -- History

1-2 days

  • Pre-1500
  • 1500-1774
  • 1775-1850
  • 1851-1920
  • 1921-today
  • Environment/The Land
  • The People/Peopling of Maine

This lesson plan will introduce elementary-grade students to the concepts and importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK), taught and understood through oral history to generations of Wabanaki people. Students will engage in discussions about how humans can be stewards of the local ecosystem, and how non-Native Maine citizens can listen to, learn from, and amplify the voices of Wabanaki neighbors to assist in the future of a sustainable environment. Students will learn about Wabanaki artists, teachers, and leaders from the past and present to help contextualize the concepts and ideas in this lesson, and learn about how Wabanaki youth are carrying tradition forward into the future.

  • Students will be able to name the Wabanaki Tribes/Nations with federal recognition and reservation lands in Maine, and be able to discuss the impact of Euro-American borders on Wabanaki Homelands.
  • Students will be able to identify the significance of the natural resources that appear in the picture book, The Canoe Maker.
  • Students will be able to engage in discussion about what non-Native Maine citizens can do to listen to and act upon suggestions from the Wabanaki community regarding ecological stewardship.

Download Lesson Plan

A resource developed by Maine Historical Society with support from Jane's Trust