BMAC presents Abenaki cooking demo with chef Jessee Lawyer, Aug. 11

Image of Jessee Lawyer giving a cooking demonstration.
Jessee Lawyer giving a cooking demonstration

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. —  The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents a free online Abenaki cooking demonstration with chef Jessee Lawyer on Thursday, August 11, at 7 p.m. Register at brattleboromuseum.org or 802-257-0124 x101. This event is presented in connection with “Nebizun: Water Is Life,” an exhibit of artwork by Abenaki artists of the Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley regions, on view at BMAC through October 10.

Lawyer is the head chef at Sweetwaters in Burlington, Vermont. As a culinary artist, he creates indigenous specialties using Wabanaki ingredients. For the online demonstration, Lawyer will make moz (moose) fried rice, using moose meat, a blend of wild and white rice, bear fat, and foraged items.

Lawyer descends from a long line of Indigenous artists. In addition to his pursuit of the culinary arts, he continues his family tradition as one of the last two Native families in the Northeast that make miniature horsetail coiled baskets. He also hand-carves traditional soapstone pipes and contemporary soapstone sculptures. He draws inspiration from his father, who taught him how to carve.

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. BMAC is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10-4. Admission is on a “pay-as-you-wish” basis. Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit brattleboromuseum.org.

BMAC is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Beer Co.

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Erin Jenkins | she/her

Gallery Manager & Marketing Coordinator

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

10 Vernon Street 

Brattleboro VT 05301

802-257-0124 x 113

www.brattleboromuseum.org

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 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.

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Kchi Wliwni (A Big Thank You) to our Sponsors

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts,  with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, private foundations, and  individuals. 

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.


Champlain College Student Develops App for Abenaki Artists

Dustin - Low res

Burlington, VT., August 30, 2017 – The Google Play store has released a new Android app called Vermont Abenaki Artists Association which was designed by Dustin Lapierre, a senior at Champlain College.

It all began two months ago when Lapierre’s professor, Melody Walker Brook, sent an email to the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) stating she had “a student very well versed in computer application” and inquired if VAAA might need an intern with those skills. Although Lapierre had previously worked with desktop apps, he accepted the challenge to develop a phone app.

Lapierre, a Computer Science and Innovation major with a minor in foreign languages said, “I was very excited to get a chance to work with the Abenaki tribe of Vermont in creating a new avenue for them to introduce their culture to the public. Between my skills and my interests, this project was a perfect fit for me, and I hope I was able to help in some way.”

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, explains that the app, which is entitled Vermont Abenaki Artists Association app “will be used to deliver additional content about our current and future exhibits to the public.” The app contains photos and descriptions of current Abenaki exhibitions, works of art, important regalia and related videos.

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association App - Low resCurrently featured on the app, the traveling exhibit Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage brings before audiences in New England a group of objects and images that document the way in which garments and accessories that reflect Abenaki heritage have been – and still are – made and used to express Native identity. Wearing Our Heritage was curated by Longtoe Sheehan and Eloise Beil of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) in Vergennes. The exhibit is currently on view at LCMM until September 3, and then it will move to Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, NH and the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, CT.

VAAA is happy with the new app that Lapierre developed and is excited for the opportunity to expand interpretation of the exhibition through digital technology.  The Wearing Our Heritage exhibit opened the door for VAAA needing the app. The exhibit and app are among the most recent outcomes of a longstanding partnership between VAAA and LCMM. “For the past decade, as a maritime museum dedicated to Lake Champlain, LCMM has been on the cutting edge of the museum field by working with community stakeholders whose ancestors lived and died in the Champlain Valley for over 10,000 years,” explained Longtoe Sheehan.

As for Lapierre’s future plans, he says “I definitely prefer Desktop programming due to familiarity, but I’m open to mobile development as a career path. Ideally, I would like to work in any field where I can communicate or interact with an international audience.”

Download the app from the Google Play Store today. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=dustin.exhibitapp2

For information contact:

Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, vera.sheehan@abenakiart.org or 802 579-0049.

About Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA)

The VAAA 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 Abenaki artists. For more information about VAAA, please visit http://abenakiart.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

LCMM is an all-year hub for maritime education that uses the discovery and stewardship of Lake Champlain’s underwater cultural heritage and environment to inspire life-long learning. LCMM brings Lake Champlain’s storied past to life through replica ships, active boat building, on-water ecology programs, nautical archaeology, collections and exhibits, and cultural heritage events. From late-May through mid-October visitors explore LCMM’s 4-acre campus, antique boats, lake history, shipwreck discoveries, step aboard a 1776 gunboat replica and enjoy hands-on and on-water opportunities. 4472 Basin Harbor Road, 7 scenic miles from Vergennes. Find Museum dates, hours of operation, events & reservations, and the Schooner Lois McClure tour itinerary at www.lcmm.org or call 802 475-2022.

 

 

 

Sessions for Teacher Training

Presenting Abenaki History in the Classroom Promo

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

Session Descriptions

Walk Through Western Abenaki History with Melody Walker Brook 

From creation to the present day, Brook will touch upon key events in Abenaki history to highlight their unique story in the Northeast.

Introduction to VAAA Educational Resources with Vera and Lina 

Explore VAAA educational tools, study guides, activity sheets and possible classroom visits by Abenaki culture bearers. Followed by a sample screening of some of our documentary short that teachers can show their students in their classrooms.

Using the Land, River, Forest, and Animals to Survive with Roger Longtoe Sheehan 

When talking about hunting, spirituality, and land use, it’s important to understand how they are all connected. Sheehan will guide us through seasonal lifeways from hunting moose, ice fishing, harvesting materials for survival. There will also be a display of equipment and other items from his private collection.

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage Exhibition Tour with Vera Longtoe Sheehan 

Teachers will have the opportunity to further their knowledge of the intertwining historical and cultural concepts that they have been learning throughout the day, and to become more familiar with some of the materials available to the Abenaki people. The tour will explore how culture bearers express their identity through wearing regalia that shows their connections to the world, their community and their ancestors.

Coming Home: the Significance of Local Knowledge and Stewardship by Lina Longtoe 

Across Native American communities, what is the principle of the Next Seven Generations and how have Abenaki families communicated it to their children? Learn how to connect students to local plant life, then utilize them to create children’s toys and activities.

 Gardening and Foodways with Liz Charlebois

Liz’s discussion will focus on Northeast indigenous food varieties. She will talk about food sovereignty, growing practices and Three Sisters gardening. She will also discuss her seed keeping efforts.

Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom

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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.

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

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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

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