Awasəwehlαwə́lətinα wikəwαmok – They Returned Home

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17 May 2023

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Corrie Roe | Local Contexts



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Every Indigenous community has cultural heritage items within archives, libraries, and museums that they do not own, control or govern the circulation of. "Awasəwehlαwə́lətinα wikəwαmok – They Returned Home," a film by the Penobscot Nation and Local Contexts, charts the groundbreaking work undertaken by the Penobscot Nation to restore their cultural authority within institutions in Maine and around the world. This 20-minute documentary highlights the innovative and interconnected strategies that citizens from the Penobscot Nation, including James Eric Francis, Sr., Jennifer Neptune, and Darren Ranco, are deploying to address the ongoing structures of colonial violence and erasure of Indigenous culture. Through their efforts in digital rematriation, language re-appropriation and codification of Penobscot co-authority, they are charting a new course forward towards more symbiotic relationships with the museums and institutions that “hold” their cultural heritage — until it can be returned in full.


Jane Anderson



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Penobscot Nation

2 Labels applied

TK Attribution Label icon. Black tag shape with two stacked white arrows, one pointing left and one pointing right.

TK Attribution (TK A) Nətawə́lənəmən


This label is being used to correct the historical exclusion of Penobscot community voice from attribution and/or ownership within archives, libraries and museums. The name of this Label Nətawə́lənəmən means to do it right, fix it correctly, arrange it right, properly. Penobscot voice and perspective adds important historical and cultural context that adds greater understanding of these materials. As a user please include the correct attribution for future use of this material. This may include Penobscot individual names, it may include ‘Penobscot’ as the cultural name and/or Penobscot Nation as the tribal designation. For further advice on attribution contact the Department of Cultural and Historical Preservation:

TK Outreach Label icon. Black tag shape with a white hand that has two dots stretching outward from each finger.

TK Outreach (TK O) Nənisαpetámənena


Nənisαpetámənena (we share it). We are deliberately sharing this material to build mutually enriching current and future relationships with educators, researchers, institutions or anyone interested in Penobscot narratives. The Penobscot Nation is to be engaged as a present day community that maintains cultural authority over this material. Our hope is that the education and dissemination of Penobscot history and culture will lead to more respectful understandings of Penobscot dignity, rights and unique worldview.

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