Creek at Nibezun in Maine.
Courtesy of Nibezun


Old Town, ME

Nibezun is a Native-led nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the traditional wisdom and culture of the five nations within the Wabanaki Confederacy—Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Abenaki—for the benefit of all People. Nibezun is deeply committed to nurturing the sacred, unbroken relationship between the People and the ancestral lands and waterways of the Wabanaki Confederacy, and offers programs and holds ceremonies that cultivate healing through revitalization of language and other traditions.

“We recognize that in strengthening our connection as Indigenous people with our sacred land, stories, language, and Wabanaki traditions, we can begin a deep and profound healing process.”

“Nibezun” translates to “medicine” in the Penobscot language; its root word, nibi, means water—the first medicine. Nibezun is located at an ancient camp used by Wabanaki people and their ancestors, the Red Paint People, for gathering red ochre, which was used in sacred customs. Today, Nibezun provides the only land access to the Penobscot Nation’s treasured 800-acre Olamon Island—the “Place of the Red Paint”—which is tribal land, and offers a support base for those using the island for traditional activities, including gathering medicines, fasting, and vision quests.