Koasek Abenaki Corn Comes Home
Native Corn Returned

Abenaki Native Corn Finally Returned To Koasek Abenaki Nation


Charles Calley and his wife Sarah, gave Nathan Pero who was representing our Koasek Abenaki Nation  four ears of corn. The history as it was told to Charles, was it was grown in Newbury, Vermont and was given to the Greene family, English settlers, by the native Indians. The Greene family grew it for decades. It was given to Charles and Sarah by Carroll Greene, who at that time lived in Derry N.H. in 1972. Later they move to Newberry and started growing it there and do so to this day. They were happy to give it to us so that it will continue to grow. They have donated some to the Seeds of Change origination, so it can go to other Native American tribes. They are good people.

Nathan plans to teach children the history of the corn and the Koasek Tribal Council plans to provide every citizen with this historic corn after several successful harvest.


Corn Given To Koasek Nation



Sarah Calley Gifts Corn to the Koasek Abenaki Nation, by Jacob L. Grant, Staff Writer, The Caledonian Record - Wells River,VT- At the Old School House in Wells River, the Koasek Abenaki nation accepted the return of the corn seeds of their ancestors and took another step toward acquiring the schoolhouse for their planned. As customary after receiving a gift,  the Abenaki gives a gift in return. We presented the Calleys with an Indian sage - an item used for prayer - a small Abenaki basket and a T-shirt bearing the name of the Koasek Abenaki.

The Koasek Abenaki plan to redistribute the seeds and start replenishing the corn. There are a few members in their tribe interested in growing the corn themselves.

Historically sacred sites of the Koasek Abenaki territory in New Hampshire and Vermont.


Cultural Survival (website promoting the rights, voices, and visions of indigenous peoples)

http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/news/article/native-corn-comes-home-abenaki-now-recognized-vermont. Native Corn Comes Home to the Abenaki, Now Recognized by Vermont, Maryann Ullmann & Lisa Matthews. The Calley Family, who gave the seeds to Koasek Abenaki on September 13, 2006 the Koasek band, whose homeland is along the Connecticut River and also extends into New Hampshire and Massachusetts.


Listed on The Splendid Table, sponsored by Room & Board.

Koasek (Cowasuck) Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation
November 18, 2006. For information on the return of the long lost corn seeds of their ancestors, log on to 
http://koasek-abenaki.com and click on the link "Return of the Abenaki Corn After 300 Years Absence. Found at website: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/gourmetguide/web_abenaki.shtml



From Native Village Youth and Education News, October 1, 2006 Issue 172  Volume 1

Abenaki Corn Returned To Tribe in Vermont: The Abenaki People are called the "original Vermonters,"  but within the next few generations, their people and culture could become extinct.  In their efforts to preserve Abenaki ways and traditions, the Koasek Abenaki tribe recently accepted the return their ancestral corn seeds.  The corn, which had been out of Abenaki hands for more than three centuries, was given to them by Charlie and Sarah Calley.  "This is the first time in 300 years our corn has come home to us," said one Abenaki.  As customary after receiving a gift, the Abenaki would give a gift in return.  The Calleys also hope to sell the Abenaki a historic building for the tribe's planned  Koasek Cultural Academy.   Plans hopefully will  include cultural exchange programs, historic preservation, and  language preservation.  "We only have a few left who can speak the original language.” 


Listed in http://clangrizz.21publish.com/Grizz?slsid= ClanGrizz Blogger website news. Sunday, September 17, 2006, Koasek Abenaki Receive Gift

BY JACOB L. GRANT, Staff Writer, Caledonian Record, St.Johnsbury, Vt.

WELLS RIVER -- They've been called the "original Vermonters."
They are a tribe that was here well before the first settlers.
And in the next few generations the last vestiges of their tribe could become extinct.
There are some within the tribe who have been working to preserve their ways and traditions and on Wednesday, a little more hope was granted.
At the Old School House in Wells River, the Koasek Abenaki tribe accepted the return of the corn seeds of their ancestors and took another step toward acquiring the schoolhouse for their planned Koasek Cultural Academy.


Second Annual Nawihla Native American Festival May 31 and June 1 2008

In 2006, the Calley family of Wells River gave seeds to the Abenaki corn that was so important to not only the Abenaki people but to the settlers that migrated to the Coos Meadows so long ago. The corn crop was planted last year. Due to the unsettled weather the corn only double in size but has been shared with others for the up coming planting season 2008. “Our plan with the corn is to be able to continually multiply our crops until we can freely distribute the seeds among all Abenaki people who are interested in helping us bring the corn back to it's perpetuity.”  http://www.maplesugarhouse.net/Nawhila.htm


Listed on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD5alhQgEfw, Koasek Tribal Band showing past Chief Brian Chenevert and many other Koasek citizens planting our corn.

I was honored to receive the following email from one member of the Greene family. I thank them again for being so historically kind. (dated 31 Aug. 2011)

Great story about the corn, I loved it. Just a quick note though, Carol Greene, Lived in Deering NH,
for as long as I can remember. He has scince passed, a number of years ago. He was a great man
and he was my uncle. Again, great story, my son was thrilled to read it.
Scincerly, Jim Greene       mmmmm



An Abenaki Legend

A long time ago, when the Indians were first made, one man lived alone, far from any others. He did not know fire, and so he lived on roots, bark, and nuts. This man became very lonely for companionship.

He grew tired of digging roots, lost his appetite, and for several days lay dreaming in the sunshine. When he awoke, he saw someone standing near and, at first, was very frightened.

But when he heard the stranger's voice, his heart was glad, and he looked up. He saw a beautiful woman with long light hair! "Come to me," he whispered. But she did not, and when he tried to approach her, she moved farther away. He sang to her about his loneliness, and begged her not to leave him.

At last she replied, "If you will do exactly what I tell you to do, I will also be with you."

He promised that he would try his very best. So she led him to a place where there was some very dry grass. "Now get two dry sticks," she told him, "and rub them together fast while you hold them in the grass."

Soon a spark flew out. The grass caught fire, and as swiftly as an arrow takes flight, the ground was burned over. Then the beautiful woman spoke again: "When the sun sets, take me by the hair and drag me over the burned ground."

"Oh, I don't want to do that!" the man exclaimed.

"You must do what I tell you to do," said she. "Wherever you drag me, something like grass will spring up, and you will see something like hair coming from between the leaves. Soon seeds will be ready for your use."

The man followed the beautiful woman's orders. And when the Indians see silk on the cornstalk, they know that the beautiful woman has not forgotten them. 




 Thank You Letter To The Calley Family


May 25, 2009
Thank you to Charles Calley for your generous gift of the traditional corn to the Tribe.
This corn will be passed out to any member who would like to grow it and pass it along to other members in order to keep the corn species alive. It will also be given to any school who would like to learn about and grow the Three Sisters garden, consisting of corn, beans and squash or pumpkins.
Accepting this gift from Charles on behalf of the Tribe is Nathan E. Pero, Subcheif of the Nolka Clan, and sitting member of the Tribal Council.
Thank you once again to Charles and his family for keeping this corn species alive.
Nathan E. Pero

Abenaki Corn is Growing Fine

Today is 11 Aug. 2009 and the few seeds of our precious Abenaki Native Corn is growing and is very healthy. The flowered tops are beginning to show but no signs of ears yet. Again, we would like to thank Council Member Nathan Pero, and the previous corn owner, Charles Calley for making all this possible. Soon, many tribal citizens will have the same chance as I have to grow our historical native corn now that it is save and in sharing hands.



On New Years Day (2010), I had a Mass said for my wife Leslie as New Years Eve was the anniversary of her passing. Outside my church after the service, a man stopped me and asked me if I was the one with the Abenaki sticker on my car. I guess he could tell it was me by the feathers I have on my cane. I said yes, and then he said he wanted to thank all of us (Abenaki) for saving our native corn and that he was able to grow some of the seeds he got from someone in Vermont to get enough of a crop this past season to produce corn meal. He said it was a great thing we have done by preserving this historical food. That made my morning feel a little better and proud of all our efforts to bring back our corn.