In 2013, the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth Tricentennial Committee explored the history of First Nations diplomacy on the New Hampshire-Maine Seacoast. The 1713 Treaty commemorations in 2013 and this website continue to develop those ideas.

The 300th anniversaries of the 1713 and 1714 Treaties of Portsmouth and the subsequent agreement of 1717 provide a modern opportunity to understand the history of the era, the nuanced diplomacy of the delegates (English and Native American) and its relevance to contemporary Rights of Indigenous Peoples issues through the lens of the legal and ethical considerations that are the speaker’s area of professional expertise. 

The Treaty is important for the First Nations diplomacy employed, for the first steps toward recognition of a New Hampshire governing Council separate from Massachusetts and for the impact it had on opening the Portsmouth door to development as the commercial and military hub on the frontier. The issues discussed on the Seacoast frontier in 1713-14 and in 1717 have a direct connection with ideas concerning the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People that are in the headlines today.

The new initiative, "Justice for People of the First Light: Colonial Treaties to the UN Declaration," puts local New Hampshire history in the context of world history and compares the cultures of English and French “conquest nations” with the First Nations of “the dawnland” – what is now coastal northern New England. The program addresses the ethical, philosophical and legal issues of the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth, a critical first encounter colonial treaty and explores decolonization values – that is, removing cultural bias from the history, sociology, legal and cultural anthropology of the First Nations in New Hampshire/New England.  The program considers how the aspirational goals of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, adopted by the UN in 2007 and finally endorsed by the US in 2010 might be achieved today in New Hampshire and the effect of the Native American Trust and Reconciliation commissions in Maine and Canada on New Hampshire.

This page provides links to news and initiatives related to these topics:

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau pledges reconciliation after Aboriginal abuse:

Bernie Sanders appoints Native American advisor:

The other water crisis:

The "Super Bowl ad" the Washington Redskins owner needs to see:

The Daily Show takes on Whiteboro NY and its town seal: