Indigenous Sites

Wantastegok: The Place of the River Where Things Are Lost

A Land Acknowledgement

Like every place in the United States, Brattleboro was built on stolen land, and the European settlers who came here during the colonial period did everything they could to drive out the Indigenous people who lived here.

Those people are the Sokoki Abenaki (or, translated into English from the original Sokwakiak, the People Who Separated), and despite centuries of persecution they survive today. Their native tongue, Aln8ba8dwaw8gan—the Western Abenaki language—survives as well, but is greatly endangered. To the Sokoki Abenaki, this place is known as Wantastegok, the Place of the River Where Things Are Lost, referring to the confluence of Kwenitekw with Wantastekw, what we now call the Connecticut River and the West River.

Every corner of this land holds their stories. Below are research sites featured on the Brattleboro Words Trail that document the history and enduring presence of the Sokoki Abenaki and their homeland, Wantastegok.

Western Abenaki Language Glossary

Ndakkina

Vermont

Wantastegok

Brattleboro, or literally, the place of the river where things are lost

K’tsi Mskodak

The Great Meadows, or the place now Putney Great Meadows

Mskodak

Meadows

Wantastekw

The West River

Kwenitekw

The Connecticut River

Ktsipôntekw

The Great Falls, or the place now called Bellows Falls

Awikhigan

An Abenaki concept encompassing many forms of “texts” created and presented to facilitate communication between people, from bark scrolls, wampum belts, and oral history to symbols and messages written into the land itself.

About the Research sites

The Brattleboro Words Project is working with the community to identify specific sites and themes significant to the study of words in Brattleboro and surrounding towns. Research Teams – classrooms/teachers, amateur historians, veterans, writers, artists and other community members — will produce audio segments and other work to be incorporated into audio walking, biking and driving tours tours.

Indigenous Research Team Leaders

Support Our Research Leaders!

Donate today! Your donation is tax-deductible and will be DOUBLED via a matching grant from NEH.



Donate Today!

Your contribution is tax-deductible and will be doubled thanks to a matching grant from NEH.