Sugaring in Wabanahkik (Land of the Dawn): An Abenaki History of Maple

By Alexander Cotnoir

As spring temperatures begin to climb across Vermont’s forested landscape, the annual arrival of “sugaring season” – that time of year when families, farmers, and maple producers gather to tap sugar maple trees and boil down the resulting sap into maple syrup and maple sugar – will soon be underway…..

Maple sugaring had been practiced by many Indigenous communities across North America before the arrival of Europeans, including the Abenaki people of Vermont, who have resided in the northeast since the glaciers receded an estimated 11,000 – 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age.

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