The Abenaki (or Abnaki) are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people belonging to the Algonquian peoples of northeastern North America, located in area the Eastern Algonquian languages call the "Wabanaki" (Dawn Land) Region. The Abenakis were one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy.-----------The Abenaki people call themselves Alnôbak, meaning "Real People" (c.f. Lenape language: Lenapek). In addition, when compared to the more interior Algonquian peoples, they call themselves Wôbanuok meaning "Easterners" (c.f. Massachusett language: Wôpanâak). They also refer to themselves as Abenaki or with syncope: Abnaki. Both forms are derived from Wabanaki or the Wabanaki Confederacy, as they were once a member of this confederacy they called Wôbanakiak meaning "People of the Dawn Land" in the Abenaki language — from wôban ("dawn" or "east") and aki ("land") (compare Proto-Algonquian *wa·pan and *axkyi)—the aboriginal name of the area broadly corresponding to New England and the Maritimes. It is, therefore, sometimes used to refer to all the Algonquian language speaking peoples of the area — Western Abenaki, Eastern Abenaki, Wolastoqiyik-Passamaquoddy, and Micmac — as a single group.--------The homeland of the Abenaki, known to them as Ndakinna, which means "our land", extended across most of northern New England, southern Quebec, and the southern Canadian Maritimes. The Eastern Abenaki's population was concentrated in portions of Maine east of New Hampshire's White Mountains. The other major tribe, the Western Abenaki, lived in the Connecticut River valley in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.The Missiquoi lived along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. There were also the Pennacook along the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire. The maritime Abenaki lived around St. Croix and the Wolastoq (St. John River) Valleys near the boundary line between Maine and New Brunswick.
The settlement of New England and frequent wars caused many Abenakis to resort to retreating to Quebec. Two large tribal communities formed near St-Francois-du-Lac and Bécancour. These settlements continue to exist to this day. Three reservations also exist in northern Maine, and seven Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) reserves are located in New Brunswick and Quebec. Other groups of Abenaki, without reservations, are scattered across northern New Hampshire and Vermont.---------
The Penawapskewi (Penobscot) have a reservation with 2,000 people on Indian Island at Old Town, Maine. The Pestomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) currently number about 2,500 across three different Maine reservations, Pleasant Point, Peter Dana Point, and Indian Township. The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians have close to 600 tribesmembers, whereas there are seven Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) bands in Canada, 470 in Quebec and 2,000 in New Brunswick. Four hundred Wôlinak Abenakis live on a reserve near Bécancour, Quebec (across the river from Trois-Rivières), and almost 1,500 live at Odanak, only 30 miles to the southwest of Trois-Rivières. The remaining Abenaki people are scattered within Quebec, New Brunswick, and northern New England, living in multi-race towns and cities. There are currently about 2,500 Vermont Abenaki in both Vermont and New Hampshire, mainly around Lake Champlain.