Ancient Pokanoket names are everywhere in Sowams!

The ancient place names of the Pokanoket people have been changed or eliminated by colonial settlers starting in the 17th century. Below are some of those ancient names over the places they once designated. In other cases, some of the original names have been retained to name businesses or street but with no relation to what they originally designated. This is an example of settler colonization.

(Above) The original place names of the Pokanoket people prior to colonization by the English



(Above) Examples of how Indigenous names have been incorporated in to business signage in Sowams

Click here for a list of past and present American Indian names in Rhode Island.

Click here for Indian Names of Places in Rhode Island by Usher Parsons M.D., Rhode Island Historical Society

Click here for an article about restoring Indigenous street names in Toronto.