" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief
The Maliseet (also known as Wolastoqiyik and Malecite and in French also as Étchemins and Malécites) are a Native American tribe that inhabits the Saint John River valley and its tributaries, roughly overlapping the International Boundary between New Brunswick and Quebec in Canada, and Maine in the United States. Their customs and Algonquian language are similar to the neighboring Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes, although the Maliseet are considered to have pursued a primarily agrarian economy. They also shared some land with those tribes.
In the Jay Treaty of 1794, the Maliseet were granted free travel between the United States and Canada because their territory spanned both sides of the border.
Approximately 3,000 Maliseets currently live in New Brunswick, in the Madawaska, Tobique, Woodstock, Kingsclear, St. Mary's and Oromocto tribes. There are 600 in the Houlton Band in Maine and 200 in the Viger First Nation in Quebec.