Events

Indigenous Peoples Day Rocks!

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

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

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This will be the 3rd annual event for IDP. Welcoming by Chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, Performances by the Nulhegan Abenaki Drummers, Abenaki preservationists, exhibitors, storytellers, demonstrations, Indigenous artisans and food vendors. Click here for directions. Rain date is October 9th. Please click here to visit the website for more information.

The Abenaki Storytelling Project is a community-based art project that is being conducted by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. Stop by the Memory Booth to create art and share your story!
VAAA uses arts and storytelling to uplift regional Abenaki voices and perspectives in museum exhibitions, programs, and cultural heritage events.

The focus of this year’s Storytelling Project is exploring how the pandemic, COVID-19 vaccine-related perceptions, disparities, and access are affecting the Native American population of the region. These insights will help us develop a online and traveling exhibition in 2023.

Visit us our booth to ask questions or participate.


Indigenous Peoples Day Event

October 9, 2022 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller National Park, Woodstock, VT

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Join Vermont Abenaki Artist Association and Park staff in a celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day. Abenakis will facilitate discussions about Indigenous land management practices, conservation issues, and cultural continuity on this land. Visitors can follow a trail to learn Abenaki words that describe the forest. Click here for a map and more information.


Indigenous Peoples Day Event

October 10, 2022 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Saint-Gaudens National Park, Cornish, New Hampshire

“Nebi” is the Abenaki word for Water which will be the focus of music, stories, and art making. Vermont Abenaki Artists Association artists will facilitate conversations about local Indigenous views of water. Visitors will also have the opportunity to attend a screening of an interview with an Abenaki canoe maker. Click here for a map.


Forest Festival

September 24, 2022 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller National Park, Woodstock, VT

Visit the ash basket discovery table where Vera Longtoe Sheehan will be discussing the cultural significance of the ash tree to local Native American people and demonstrating how to make ash splint and sweetgrass bookmarks. Vermont Abenaki Artists Association will also have an information table with cultural resources. Click here to visit the Forest Festival website for more information.


Native American Heritage Month

November events to be announced

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PAST EVENTS

Water is Life: Abenaki Free Arts

SATURDAY AT 11 AM – 3 PM (August 2022)

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

What: Artmaking and Gallery Talk
Where: Brattleboro Museum of Art & Culture, Brattleboro, VT
Ages: Families with children ages 8-12
Cost: Free

Families are invited to learn about Abenaki tribal customs, traditions, and the intersectionality between Abenaki arts and environmental issues. This art program explores the *Nebizun: Water is Life traveling museum exhibition and the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

*Nebi is the Abenaki word for water and Nebizun means medicine.

● Children must be accompanied by adults.
● Space is limited to first come, first served.
Co-hosted by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center

Sample of artwork that will be created by children attending the program.
Sample of artwork to be created during the program

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022 AT 10 AM

Water is Life: Abenaki FREE Arts for Little Ones (10:00 am)

Event by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Abenaki Arts & Education Center

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/…/tZModOigrDgjGtzr6wmZmr5KSNKEe…

During this virtual artmaking session, families will meet the artist Francine Poitras Jones, creator of the painting Water is Life. Together your family will explore the Abenaki relationship between water and the People. Focus will be on caring for our precious water. Francine will share songs and storytelling and then the children will participate in creating artwork similar to the painting that is currently at the *Nebizun: Water is Life exhibit.

*Nebi is water in Abenaki and Nebizun means medicine. Our water is medicine for our bodies.

What: Music, Storytelling, and Artmaking
Where: Zoom
Ages: The program is geared towards children ages 4 through 7
Cost: Free

Space is limited to first come – first served.
Art kits will be provided free of charge.
Cutoff date for registration is July 21st.
An adult must be present

Co-hosted by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center

The *Nebizun: Water is Life exhibition is currently on view at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Brattleboro Museum of Art & Culture.


Image of the artist, Francine Poitras Jones, creating the painting called Water is Life and information about the program.
Image of the presenter creating Water is Life painting

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022 AT 3 PM – 4:15 PM

Water is Life: Abenaki FREE Arts for Families (3:00 pm)

Online event

Registration Link:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81013160600…

During this virtual artmaking session, families will meet the artist Francine Poitras Jones, creator of the painting Water is Life. Together your family will explore the Abenaki relationship between water and the People. Focus will be on caring for our precious water. Francine will share songs and storytelling and then the children will participate in creating artwork similar to the painting that is currently at the *Nebizun: Water is Life exhibit.

*Nebi is water in Abenaki and Nebizun means medicine. Our water is medicine for our bodies.

What: Music, Storytelling, and Artmaking
Where: Zoom
Ages: The program is geared towards children ages 4 through 7
Cost: Free

Space is limited to first come – first served.
Art kits will be provided free of charge.
Cutoff date for registration is July 21st.
An adult must be present

Co-hosted by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center

The *Nebizun: Water is Life exhibition is currently on view at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Brattleboro Museum of Art & Culture.

Image of children creating art and information about the Water is Life Abenaki Free Arts program.

Water is Life: Abenaki FREE Arts at Museums

July 29, 2022 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Young people and their caregivers are invited to learn about Abenaki tribal customs, traditions, and the intersectionality between Abenaki arts and environmental issues. This art program includes a spotlight tour of the the *Nebizun: Water is Life exhibit with the curator and a hands-on art program. Children must be accompanied by adults.
Space is limited to first come, first served.
Co-hosted by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center


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.

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

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