Category Archives: Abenaki Heritage Weekend

State-recognized Tribes

There are four state-recognized tribes in the state of Vermont. Each tribe is self-governed and operates as a sovereign tribe or band. The citizens of the tribes often gather at various functions to fellowship. A good example is the Abenaki Heritage Weekend, which will be held June 18 – 19 this year. To learn more about each tribe, please visit their website. The links are provided here:

Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation

Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

St. Francis-Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Abenaki Heritage Weekend

When: June 18-19, 2022

Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491

Cost: $0

Directions: Click here for Google Map

Join the Native American community at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 18 and 19 at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to explore and learn about the Abenaki perspective on life in the Champlain Valley. Activities include several workshops, presentations, drumming, and singing.

This heritage weekend brings together citizens of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, the Missisquoi Abenaki Tribe. It is presented by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center, and hosted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

If you have specific accommodations you need to facilitate your participation in programs, workshops, or any other questions you have, please contact the organizers of Abenaki Heritage Weekend by email at heritage_weekend@abenakiart.org.

Special Programs

  • Abenaki Storytelling Project, Vera Longtoe Sheehan
  • A Safe place to be Abenaki, Fred Wiseman
  • Curatorial talk – Vera Longtoe Sheehan will talk about the Neizun Water is Life Exhibition

Artists Featured in the Arts Marketplace

  • Michael Descoteaux
  • Chief Shirly Hook
  • Jeanne Morningstar Kent, gourd art
  • Linda Longtoe Sheehan, wampum
  • Roger Longtoe Sheehan, carved pipes and blades

Tentative Schedule

Saturday, June 18 – Museum Hours: 10:00 am to 4pm

Ongoing Activities until 4:00pm:

  • Arts Marketplace (Boat Shed and on the Green)
  • Wampum with Linda Longtoe Sheehan (Boat Shed)
  • Historical conversations and soapstone pipemaking with Sagamo Roger Longtoe Sheehan
  • Children’s Make and Take (Foundry)
  • Memory Booth (on the Green)
  • In-Ground (Firepit) Cooking Demonstration with Chief Shirly Hook (Roost)
  • Animal Tracking with Doug Bent (Roost)
  • Fire Making with Flint and Steel with Doug Bent (Roost)
Image of storyteller with children.

11:00 – Greeting Song, Land Acknowledgement, and Opening Remarks (Pine Grove)

11:30 – Telling Our Stories: Abenaki Storytelling Project (Auditorium in Gateway) – Sheehan will provide a overview of the project’s inspiration, goals, approach, and significance of this project to the Abenaki people.

12:00 – Picnic Break

1:00 – Storytelling and Music with Dancing Blue Wolf (Pine Grove) – traditional songs will be sung with the children along with the telling of a story.

1:30  – Chief Don Stevens and the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group (Key to Liberty) – Chief Don will lead traditional songs and also do storytelling.

2:00 – Nebizun: Water is Life – Gallery Talk (Schoolhouse) – Vera Longtoe Sheehan will present information about the exhibit.

3:00 – Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group – Music (on the Green)

4:00 – Traveling Song and closing

SUNDAY – June 19, Museum Hours: 10:00 am to 4pm

Ongoing Activities until 4:00pm:

  • Arts Marketplace (Boat Shed and on the Green)
  • Wampum with Linda Longtoe Sheehan (Boat Shed)
  • Historical conversations and soapstone pipemaking with Sagamo Roger Longtoe Sheehan
  • Children’s Make and Take (Foundry)
  • Memory Booth (on the Green)
  • Animal Tracking with Doug Bent (Roost)
  • Fire Making with Flint and Steel with Doug Bent (Roost)
Image of Linda Longtoe Sheehan.

11:00 – Greeting Song, Land Acknowledgement, and Opening Remarks (Pine Grove)

11:30 – Storytelling and Music with Dancing Blue Wolf (Pine Grove) – traditional songs will be sung with the children along with the telling of a story.

12:00 – Picnic Break

1:00 – A Safe Place to be Abenaki – Frederick M. Wiseman (Auditorium) – Dr. Wiseman will discuss the Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center’s successes and future focus on expanding this safe place to be American Abenaki and do American Abenaki things.   

2:00 – Nebizun: Water is Life Gallery Talk (Schoolhouse) – Vera Longtoe Sheehan will present information about the exhibit.

3:00 – Nulhegan Abenaki Drum Group – Music (on the Green)

4:00 – Traveling Song and closing

#Abenaki #heritage #weekend #VAAA

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kchi Wliwni (A Big Thank You) to our Sponsors

Events

Image of Vera Longtoe Sheehan from a screen shot.
Vera Longtoe Sheehan

Triple Threat: American Abenaki Erasure and Continuity of Culture

July 17, 2022 at 3:30 PM

We welcome you to come listen to the first of our 2022 talks, with Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Executive Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and founder of the Abenaki Arts and Education Center. This event will take place Sunday, July 17 3:30 PM at the Brownington Congregational Church at the intersection of Hinman Settler Road and Old Stone House Road.
The Green Mountain State has a continuous history that began with colonization and continues to this day. This discussion will cover the three E’s of Abenaki Erasure, Eugenics, and Ethnocide, as well as the strength and resiliency of the American Abenaki people who continue to persevere in the face of adversity. Join Vera Longtoe Sheehan at the Brownington Congregational Church at 3:30 PM with discussion to follow.

Vera Longtoe Sheehan is an educator, activist and artist. As the Executive Director of Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and founder of the Abenaki Arts and Education Center she bridges the gap between the Native American and Non-Native communities by developing dynamic museum exhibitions, cultural heritage events, educational programs and resources. She formerly worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She earned her MALS in Interdisciplinary Studies and BA in Museum Studies and Native American Studies from SUNY, Empire State College. She currently serves on the Vermont Humanities Council Executive Board and the Act 1 Task Force examining State K-12 education policies and standards with regard to Ethnic Studies. Vera is an enrolled citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe and a Master Fiber Artist.


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

October 8, 2022 (Rain date October 9, 2022) – Stowe Events Field, Stowe, VT


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

To be announced  – Retreat Farm, 45 Farm Square, Brattleboro, VT


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

This will be the 3rd annual event for IDP. Please visit the website for more information.


Native American Heritage Month

November events to be announced

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PAST EVENTS

Nebizun Celebration & Curator Talk

June 24, 2022, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

All are welcome to a special celebration and curator talk for Nebizun: Water is Life, a multimedia art exhibit that explores the Abenaki relationship to water. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.

Curator Vera Longtoe Sheehan will discuss the exhibit, Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan will attend the event, and Abenaki musicians will perform. Food and drink will be served outdoors.

Vera Longtoe Sheehan is an artist, educator, and activist who has lectured and exhibited her work nationally and internationally. For over twenty-five years, she has combined her Indigenous heritage, her knowledge of regional history, and her passion for artistic creation to offer programs for schools and museums. She is the director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, and the founder of the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. Her twined bags, baskets and textiles reside in museums and private collections and can be seen in films and literature.

ADMISSION: Free


ABENAKI HERITAGE WEEKEND

Image of Basket maker and two children squatting, while he teaches them how to make ash splints, by pounding on an ash tree log, with a short handled sledge hammer.
Abenaki basketmaker, Aaron Wood, showing children how he prepares ash splints for making baskets.

June 18 – 19, 2022

Join the Native American community for a virtual Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 18th to June 19th.  This special weekend, organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Abenaki Arts & Education Center, and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, gives visitors an Abenaki perspective on life in the Champlain Valley. More details coming soon on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Learn more about the weekend by clicking here. We invite you to contact us with specific accommodations you need to facilitate your participation in programs, workshops or any other questions you have. Send emails to heritage_weekend@abenakiart.org

Location: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491

#Abenaki #heritage #weekend #VAAA


While surveying wampum in museum collections, I encountered a unique category of ethnographic objects: Northeastern Native American wooden clubs and wooden bowls embedded with wampum beads. These seventeenth century objects include beads that— from the obvious evidence of drilled holes and traces of fiber weft — appear to have been removed from a woven object (likely a collar or belt) and set into a wooden object. Heretofore, these wampum inclusions have been interpreted as merely adornment. Yet, the meticulous placement of these repurposed beads (e.g., inside a burl bowl, or along the spine of a war club) signals more than decorative purposes. The act of transforming a wampum belt (typically a tool of diplomacy) into a war club (typically a weapon of conflict) is best understood by considering the ontological and ritual details that inspire and inform the material expression of symbolic messaging in these and other objects of power.

Image of Jean O'Brien.

Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England” with Jean M. O’Brien 

Thursday, April 28, 2022 —  4:00 pm EST (75 minutes)

ABSTRACT: In this talk, Jean O’Brien narrates the argument she makes in her book, Firsting and Lasting, that local histories written in the nineteenth century became a primary means by which Euro-Americans asserted their own modernity while denying it to Indian peoples. Erasing then memorializing Indian peoples also served a more pragmatic colonial goal: refuting Indian claims to land and rights. Drawing on more than six hundred local histories from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well as censuses, monuments, and accounts of historical pageants and commemorations, O’Brien explores how these narratives inculcated the myth of Indian extinction, a myth that has stubbornly remained in the American consciousness.

FREE (Registration required)

Zoom link will be sent out to all registrants via email


Image of the book cover Firsting and Lasing by Jean M. O'Brien.

Speaker Bio: Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters about the Woodland American Indian region including but not limited to: Monumental Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit (with Lisa Blee, North Carolina, 2019); Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England (Minnesota, 2010); and Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790 (Cambridge and Nebraska, 1997 and 2003). 

Jean is a co-founder, co-editor,  and Past President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the association’s journal, Native American and Indigenous Studies. Jean has received numerous fellowships and awards in support of her expertise.in this field

Registration Link:  https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqcu2rqT8jGtZQUzfo2mRXqNLzGc2OixV9

SAVE THE DATE!




Image of news room button with link to news room page.
Click here for News Room.

Upcoming Events

April 19 th, 2018, 7:00 pm – Wearing Our Heritage – Contemporary Abenaki artists and tribal members talk about the meaning of garments, accessories and regalia in their own lives and in the expression of community and tribal identity. This program was created by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association in partnership with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Flynn Center for the Arts, supported in part by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council. Charlotte Library, Shelburne, VT. Admission is free.

May 7, 2018 – Abenaki Woman’s Panel Discussion- Native American women are perhaps the most marginalized group of people in Vermont. Discussion by a panel of Native women will address their struggles coming to terms with the dichotomy between the respected position of Abenaki women in our past and how society has lost respect for women; their roles as culture bearers, leaders and mothers; and how cultural traditions suggest possibilities for change in the future.  This program was created by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association in partnership with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Flynn Center for the Arts, supported in part by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council. Fletcher Free, Burlington, VT. Admission is free.

June 23 & 24 – Abenaki Heritage Weekend  – This special weekend organized by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and presented at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum gives visitors an Abenaki perspective on life in the Champlain Valley. Dancing, drumming, storytelling, craft and cooking demonstrations are presented by members of Vermont’s Abenaki Tribes. The Native Arts Marketplace and exhibit opening celebration provide opportunities to meet some of the artists featured in the special exhibition Abenaki Ornamaentation: From Trade Beads to Sead Beads. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum 4472 Basin Harbor Rd. Vergennes, VT 05491 · (802) 475-2022. More information

August 3 & 4 – Teaching Abenaki History and Culture.  Two day and a half professional development seminar for teachers, museum educators, and home schoolers. Certificate provided upon sucessful completion of 20-hour program. More information

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