Abenaki Organizations

The four state-recognized tribes of Vermont are very active. It is important to note that, though the tribes are recognized in Vermont, our land was not divided by borders. We, the Abenaki, call our homeland N’dakinna. The citizens of the four tribes do not live in only Vermont – they live in many places throughout N’dakinna, such as New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. Some of the People even live in states other than the northeast. So, you will find that some of the organizations listed below are far-reaching. 

Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing the links to various organizations that you may find of interest. Please take some time and click on the links to learn more about each of these organizations. We have put a description for each organization to help you identify whether they may meet some of your needs or interests. 

Abenaki Arts & Education Center

The Abenaki Arts & Education Center (AAEC) was created because Abenaki history and culture are not included in the regional curriculum, it is difficult for teachers to find Abenaki educators and authentic curriculum resources. In addition to the free resources listed on this website, they also offer many educational programs, and a YouTube channel with videos. Following is the mission of the AAEC:

“Our mission is to support American Abenaki sovereignty through education and sharing Abenaki history and cultural resources with people of all ages so Abenaki living culture can be taught across N’Dakinna (our homeland).”

An Online Discussion 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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Abenaki History

Brightly colored acrylic painting of an Abenaki man and woman standing outdoors, near a river,amd they are wearing historical Abenaki clothing. They are both wearing peaked hoods, white linen shirts are white linen ,and their bottoms are blue and red wool.
Francine Poitras Jones. “18th-Century Abenaki Couple.” 2017. Acrylic on canvas framed with bunches of birch twigs, and feathers hanging from the right side.

FROM THE WESTERN ABENAKI THEN AND NOW BY VERA LONGTOE SHEEHAN

The Abenaki have lived in the region for over 12,000 years. They are sometimes referred to as the Dawnland People because the word Wabanaki translates to People of the Dawn. Historians categorize Abenaki communities into two categories: the Western and Eastern Abenaki. Historically the Western Abenaki people lived in what is today known as Eastern New York, Northern Massachusetts, Southwestern Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and north toward Quebec, Canada. As members of the Seven Nations and Wabanaki Confederacy, Abenakis interacted with their Native American neighbors to the North, South, East, and West on a regular basis.


Upon the arrival of Europeans, disease and warfare caused immeasurable changes in the Abenaki way of life. The Abenakis allied
with the French with whom they traded raw materials for new commodities such as wool, linen shirts, silk ribbons, glass beads, tools, and firearms. As allies the Abenaki and French fought together against the British encroachment into N’Dakinna Abenaki for homeland).

By the late 18th century prejudice and the embattled situation in surrounding areas forced the Abenaki to break up into smaller family bands or clans in order to survive. In the 18th-century, the British burned our long-standing villages of Mission des Loups at the Koas, Missisquoi along the Missisquoi River, and St. Francis which the Abenaki people know as Odanak in Quebec. Little is recorded about the Abenaki in historical accounts of the 19th and the first half of the 20th-centuries. However, our families maintained oral histories and strong traditions from this time. Since the 1970s the Abenaki have been experiencing an interest in cultural revitalization.


Today there are two provincially recognized Western Abenaki tribes in
Canada: the Odanak and Wolinak tribes. In the United States, four Abenaki tribes received State recognition in Vermont in 2011 and 2012: the Elnu, Koasek, Missisquoi, and Nulhegan tribes. According to data from the 2010 census,it is estimated that there are approximately 2,100 Abenakis in Quebec and 3,200 in Vermont and New Hampshire. That is a conservative figure because it doesn’t include non-recognized and unaffiliated Abenaki families.


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