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The Abenaki (also Wabanaki) are a tribe of Native Americans belonging to the Algonquin people of the Northeast portion of North America.

The Abenakis inhabited the area that includes parts of the province of Quebec in Canada, and portions of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and possibly Maine in the United States. The language of the Abenakis shared common roots with neighboring tribes such as the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Pasmaquoddy, and other New England tribes. Note, however, that the tribes of the Five Nations in what is now New York state, were linguistically segregated from the other Algonquian tribes in the northeast. There were also significant cultural differences between the Algonquian tribes and those of the five nations with religious differences being the most noticeable.

There are very few native speakers of the Abenaki tongue still alive, and they are all in Canada. While there are members of the tribe living in close proximity to each other in Quebec and Vermont most other Abenakis have dispersed into the general population.

Abenakis are not a federally recognized tribe in the United States. This is true of almost all of the eastern tribes. This is due to the decimation or assimilation of tribal populations well before the US government began acknowledging the sovereignty of native tribes.

The Abenaki were ruled by elected chiefs called Sagamores, who usually served for life but could be impeached. They had little actual power, but European colonizers still treated them like monarchs, resulting in many miscommunications and oversimplifications.

See also: Abenaki mythology

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