For centuries, the Passamaquoddy people have lived and flourished on lands in Eastern Maine and Western New Brunswick, Canada. The name “Passamaquoddy” derives from the word peskotomuhkati, which literally means “people of the pollock-spearing place.” The Passamaquoddy live along the Atlantic Ocean and its bays and rivers within forests.
For hundreds of years, the Passamaquoddy hunted, fished, trapped and gathered their food and medicine from their land. The eventual degradation of resources and encroachment on original land forced the tribe to adapt and shift away from traditional methods of obtaining food.
The Passamaquoddy began focusing on their traditional methods of harvesting sap from the Mahgan (Sugar Maple) tree. In 2013, the tribe launched an economic development project to tap into the traditional natural resource of maple syrup. Today, the tribe owns more than 65,000 acres in Northern Maine.
However, the tribe lacked funding to hire more employees and equipment to bring their natural maple syrup to a mass market. In 2014, through diligence of community members and tribal leadership, the Passamaquoddy tribe raised enough funding to purchase sustainable tapping equipment, and build sugar houses and a bottling facility on their tribal land in Prentis Township and Moose River, Maine.
Since the beginning of the operation, the tribe has tapped more than 10,000 trees and produced more than a thousand gallons of 100 percent pure maple syrup. Additionally, the operation has created six seasonal and full-time jobs.
Passamaquoddy Maple strives to produce the best Grade A quality of sustainably harvested maple syrup and is proudly certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association.
You can purchase Passamaquoddy maple syrup, maple candies and sugar on the SweetGrass Trading Company website.