Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom

https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-31816371-104036858641-1-original

Members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association serve as faculty for this one-day professional development seminar at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM), designed to provide teachers and homeschool educators with new resources and techniques to help elementary students learn about the Abenaki tribe. This program is supported by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council.

Abenaki culture and history that spans 11,000 years in the Champlain Valley will be introduced by culture bearers with deep understanding of how this vibrant regional culture continues into the 21st century. Some of the topics include: history and stereotypes; new resources being developed for use in classrooms; age-appropriate activities; and learning how you can better support Abenaki and other Native students while presenting American history. The program includes a gallery talk and tour of the traveling exhibition Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage that explores Abenaki identity and continuity through the lens of the clothing we make and wear to express our identity.

When: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 9:30am-4pm

Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT

Cost: $15 registration fee includes lunch and program materials.

Register: Eventbrite

Instructors:

Melody Walker Brook is an Adjunct Professor at Champlain College and has taught The Abenakis and Their Neighbors and Abenaki Spirituality at Johnson State College. She serves on the Vermont Commission of Native American Affairs and is a traditional beadworker and finger weaver.

Liz Charlebois, Abenaki culture bearer, is a powwow dancer, traditional bead worker, ash basket maker, and bitten birch bark artist. She cultivates a traditional garden and has organized a seed bank of heirloom seeds grown by the Indigenous people of the Northeast. Liz has served on the New Hampshire Commission of Native American Affairs and as Education Specialist at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH.

Lina Longtoe is certified Project WILD instructor for the Growing Up WILD, Aquatic WILD and Project WILD K – 12 programs, which are sponsored by the EPA, US Fish and Wildlife, and the National Wildlife Federation. Her area of study is environmental science with a concentration in sustainability. She is Tribal Documentarian for the Elnu Abenaki Tribe and maintains a YouTube channel to help preserve Abenaki culture.

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, has a background in Museum Studies and Native American Studies. She has been designing and implementing educational programs with museums, schools and historic sites for over twenty-five years. Her art is focused on traditional clothing and twined woven plant fiber bags.

For more information, please contact:

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association vera.sheehan@abenakiart.org

Photos From the 2017 Abenaki Heritage Weekend

Every year the Abenaki Heritage Weekend offers opportunities for in promtu activities for the public to interact with the Abenaki community. Lina Longtoe of Askawobi Production captured a couple of these encounters.

19420464_580839772062950_6339716230148951181_n

Aaron Wood teaches two young people learn how to pound an ash log to produce ash splints for basket making.

19399000_580358298777764_5302830926409494696_n

Everyone gathers for a Round Dance

2017 Abenaki Heritage Weekend Schedule

 

Abenaki Heritage Weekend at the  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Saturday, June 24 – 10:00am to 5pm

Ongoing Activities

  • Living History Encampment (Pine Grove)
  • Arts Marketplace (Boat Shed)
  • Children’s Make and Take (Boat Shed)
  • Cooking Demonstration (on the Green)
  • Learn about traditional gardening (on the Green)
  • Plant Sale (on the Green)

10:30 – Greeting Song and Opening remarks (Pine Grove)

11:00 – Enjoy ongoing activities

11:30 – Children’s Gourd Rattle making workshop. Space is limited to first come first served (on the Green near cooking demonstration)

12:00 – My Grandfather Was Right: a $50,000 Lesson in Ethnoscience,

Lina Longtoe, (Auditorium in Gateway)

1:00 – Storytelling drum music and dancing, Chief Don Stevens and the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group (on the Green)

2:00 – The Light Behind Our Eyes – A Perspective On Abenaki Identity,
Melody Walker-Brook (Auditorium in Gateway)

3:00 – Bryan Blanchette, Contemporary Native American Music (on the Green)

4:00 – Gallery Talk about the special exhibit Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage (Stone Schoolhouse)

Sunday, June 25 – 10:00am to 5:00pm

Ongoing Activities until 3:00pm

  • Living History Encampment (Pine Grove)
  • Arts Marketplace (Boat Shed)
  • Children’s Make and Take (Boat Shed)

10:30 – Greeting Song and Opening remarks (Pine Grove)

11:00 – Storytelling drum music and dancing, Chief Don Stevens and the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group (on the Green)

11:30 – Enjoy ongoing activities

1:00 – Storytelling drum music and dancing, Chief Don Stevens and the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group (on the Green)

2:00 – Decolonizing Native American Art Marketplace, Vera Longtoe Sheehan (Auditorium in Gateway)

3:00 – Enjoy ongoing activities

4:00 – Walking With Our Sisters (Film) (Auditorium in Gateway

 Art Demonstrations in the Native American Arts Marketplace (In the Boat Shed)

Ash Basketry with Kerry Royce Wood

Porcupine Quillwork with Jim Taylor

Twined Bag Making with Vera Longtoe Sheehan

Wampum weaving with Linda Longtoe Sheehan

The Past Meets the Present at Abenaki Heritage Weekend

VERGENNES, VT., JUNE 9, 2017 – Join the Abenaki community of Vermont and New Hampshire on June 24 and 25 for a family fun, enriched weekend that is deeply rooted in local Native American heritage.

This special weekend, hosted by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and presented in partnership with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, gives visitors an Indigenous perspective on life in the Champlain Valley in the past and present. Indoor and outdoor activities such as drumming, storytelling, craft and cooking demonstrations will be presented by citizens of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk and Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation.

Come early to take advantage of all of the activities! The event will open with an Abenaki Greeting Song at 10:30am each day. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch or snacks for your family to enjoy as you listen to the afternoon concert by the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group while sitting on your picnic blanket or join in a Round Dance. Make and take arts and crafts activities for the kids will include making a glass wampum bracelet or children’s.

The Native Arts Marketplace and exhibit opening celebration provide opportunities to meet some of the artists featured in the special exhibition Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. A gallery talk with the curators and artist will provide greater insights as to how Native identity finds expression in different ways with each generation. Additionally, in the presentation The Light Behind Our Eyes – A Perspective on Abenaki Identity, Melody Walker-Brook will explain what it means to be an indigenous person.

Chief Shirly Hook and Doug Bent of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation will be doing a fire pit cooking demonstration. They will begin digging the fire pit on Friday and the turkey and beans will be cooking all day on Saturday. Chief Hook is an avid gardener who prepares foods that she has grows herself. She will a table set up with photos and seeds from the tribal garden. She will also have her three young apprentices with her.

The three little gardeners Savanah, Greyson, and Cadyn will be selling some of the plants that they have grown with the guidance of Chief Hook. Proceeds of the sales will benefit Koasek youth group and children’s activities at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend.

My Grandfather Was Right: a $50,000 Lesson in Ethnoscience by Lina Longtoe of the Indigenous People’s Alliance of Eckerd College who believes “The answers to achieve a sustainable future may exist in the past and present of Indigenous life.”

 

You will find the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, near a leantu in the Pine Grove, where they will be presenting an 18th-century encampment similar to what their ancestors might have stayed in while fishing on Lake Champlain.  Talk to the Native Interpreters about the history and culture of the Champlain Valleys first navigators. Then walk over to the Native American Arts Marketplaces and watch demonstrations of traditional Abenaki art forms such as quillwork, wampum, twined bags and ash basketry.

Location:
4472 Basin Harbor Road, (adjacent to historic Basin Harbor Club), Vergennes, VT 05491

Admission: Adult $12, Seniors $11, Youth 6-17 $8, and Children 5 & under Free

 

About the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA)

Our mission is to promote Vermont’s Indigenous arts and artists, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas and professional development as entrepreneurs, and to have a method for the public to find and engage our artists. For more information about VAAA please visit http://abenakiart.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information, contact:

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Director VAAA and Exhibit Co-Curator (802) 579-0049

Eloise Beil, Collections Manager, Manager of Public Relation, and Exhibit Co-Curator LCMM (802) 475-2022