Algonquian speaking tribes including the Muhhekunnew (“people of the waters that are never still” or Mohican) and Abenaki peoples lived in the western part of what is now Vermont while the Missiquoi (“place where there are boulders”) lived further south. The Muhhekunnew lived in what is now the Hudson River Valley in large, heavily fortified settlements. Each village was governed by a hereditary sachem with the advice of a council of elders though the sachems met regularly to make collective decisions. The Abenaki were part of the Wabanaki Confederacy and consisted of many smaller bands. The Abenaki continue to live in Vermont and the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe recently won recognition from the state after a long struggle as did the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi.
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