Carol Billings McGranaghan

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2017

Image of Carol Billings McGranaghan

Carol Billings McGranaghan has served the community as a member of the Vermont Commission on Native America Affairs. She is also a culinary artist who follows the traditions of her grandmothers who taught her about wild edible plants. She uses this knowledge of regional edible plants to create her one of a kind jams and jellies.

Artist Statement

I was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. My parents and grandparents taught me about plants, gardens, and “living off the land.” My interest in plants really started with my paternal Grandmother showing me the different wild flowers and what they were for, which were edible and how to care for them so they could continue for generations. Mom made chokecherry and apple jelly – the reason I started researching wild flowers and herbs to make my own products. Each season brings yet more to find and more to learn about, which provides an ongoing learning experience.

I also do beadwork.  That interest was initiated at my other Grandmother’s knee. She showed me how to weave seed beads, string beads using patterns and colors to tell a story and how to use natural materials as beads. I have been selling my handmade beaded jewelry on Etsy for several years now. I am currently learning how to weave baskets, both in traditional and non-traditional designs.  

I have participated in many panel discussions about Abenaki subjects, from wearing our heritage to women’s roles today, the history of Abenaki survival from colonization to the trauma of the Vermont eugenics survey and present day ethnic mascots. I teach my grandson about smudging, our plants/animals and the traditional stories so he will have an understanding of Abenaki history, to be proud of it, and to pass it on to others when he’s older. 

I was appointed to the Vermont Commission of Native Affairs in 2016. I was elected Vice-Chair in 2017 and Chair in 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021. In 2018, one of my first projects was to have the items which were gifted to Vermont at the time of State recognition for the four Abenaki tribes installed as a permanent display in the Vermont State House. In 2019, with the assistance of the Friends of the State House, we held a celebration on the State House lawn for the opening of the display, the declaration of Abenaki Heritage Week and for Indigenous Peoples’ Day being passed into law. I provided training sessions to the State House tour guides so they would have a better understanding of Abenaki history. In 2020, I worked with the legislature to have Abenaki names added to state park signs. In 2021, members of the VCNAA and I provided testimony in behalf of the eugenics survey apology and in support of schools who were attempting to change their ethnic school mascots. 

I have worked closely with Carol Irons, another member of the Commission, to present and teach basic Abenaki history, culture, and customs to both adults and students as part of the Abenaki Cultural Regeneration project. I welcome the opportunity to share this learning with others who are interested.


Email: [email protected]

Etsy Store: Hidden Bear

Image of jar of Queen Anne's Lace jelly.
Queen Anne’s Lace jelly made by Carol
Image of necklaces made by Carol.
Necklaces made by Carol.
Image of Four Directions basket made by Carol.
Four Directions Basket
Image of Assorted Hidden Bear Treasures Jellies.
Assorted Hidden Bear Treasures Jellies

Speaking Engagements and Exhibits


  • Co-author of Sustainability Article: Restoring a Degraded
  • Riparian Forested Buffer While Balancing Phosphorus
  • Remediation, Biodiversity and Indigenous Land Access
  • Co-Presenter at Northeast Organic Farming Association on
  • Shelburne Farms project
  • Presenter at Essex High School Cultural Diversity event
  • Honoring the Plants and Pollinators presentations to schools and libraries
  • Guest Teacher at Sage Mountain summer school and after school programs
  • Presenter on Abenaki culture Northwoods Stewardship


  • Consultant on development of first plant pallet for UVM
  • Shelburne Farms phosphorus mitigation project
  • Co-Presenter at New Moon Mycology Summit
  • Honoring the Plants and Pollinators presentations to
    schools, libraries, senior citizens
  • Guest Teacher at Sage Mountain summer school and after
    school programs
  • Presenter at Exeter School (New Hampshire)


  • Legislative testimony on Eugenics Apology
  • School mascot discussions and legislative testimony
  • Honoring the Plants and Pollinators presentations to schools and libraries


  • Participant in International Center for Transitional Justice workshop on Truth and Accountability 
  • Indigenous Plant consultant on UVM Shelburne Farms phosphorous mitigation project


  • Abenaki Opening Devotional in the Vermont Legislative House
  • Moccasin Tracks interview on VCNAA updates
  • Legislative work to add Abenaki names to state signs
  • WCAX interview for Abenaki state park signage
  • WCAX interview for Deb Haaland appointment to Secretary of the Interior
  • Appointed to Vermont Racial Equity Task Force


  • Provided training for State House tour guides on the Abenaki display
  • Moccasin Tracks interview on VCNAA
  • Endangered Alphabets Abenaki Perspective, Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier VT
  • Overview of Abenaki History and Culture, Proctor School, Proctor VT
  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Camp, Northwoods Stewardship, Charleston VT
  • Permanent Installation of display for the Abenaki recognition items
  • Smudged, labeled and installed the permanent display of Abenaki recognition items
  • Stowe High School Indigenous Peoples’ Day presentation


  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Camp, Northwoods Stewardship, Charleston VT
  • Abenaki Stories and Drumming, Button Bay Campground, Ferrisburg VT
  • Overview of Abenaki History and Culture, Whitingham Middle School, Whitingham VT


  • Wearing Our Heritage Panel Discussion, Shelburne Library, Shelburne VT.


  • Racial Equity Task Force (2020-2022)
  • Vice-Chair Friends of the State House Board (2023-2025)
  • Indigenous Plant Consultant UVM Shelburne Farms Phosphorus Mitigation (2021 – present)
  • Appointment by Governor Scott to the Racial Equity Task Force (2020-2021)
  • Social Equity Task Force  (2020-2021)
  • Social Equity Caucus   (2020-2021)
  • Friends of the Vermont Statehouse, Panel member
  • Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project, Co-leader
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs member since 2016. Vice Chair 2017, Chair 2018 – 2019, 2019 – 2020, 2020 – 2021, and 2021 – 2022

Jessee Lawyer

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Jesse Lawyer.
Jessee Lawyer

Jessee Lawyer is an enrolled citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi. He i the head chef at Sweetwaters in Burlington and caters special events. As a culinary artist he creates indigenous specialties using Wabanaki ingredients.

Jesse descends from a long line of Indigenous artists. He continues his family tradition as one of the last two Native families in the Northeast who continue to make miniature horsetail coiled baskets. Jessee also hand carves traditional soapstone pipes and contemporary soapstone sculptures. He draws great inspiration from his father who taught him how to carve. As he continues to polish his skills, he is being mentored by two VAAA artists.


Artist Statement

As a child, I spent many nights watching my father create art. He worked in many mediums; he was well known for his moccasins and homes that he built. His attention to detail captivated and inspired me. Hand carved feathers and chip carving around doors and windows, decorative stitching graced his moccasins, and subtle lines touched his pipes. He would tell me stories of my grandfather who made miniature horsehair baskets, woodcarvings and would cast miniature animals out of bronze. I absorbed as much knowledge and wisdom as I could from my father and cannot thank him enough for preparing me with the skills and love needed to continue our Abenaki traditions before he passed on to the spirit world.

I have only recently started carrying on my family traditions as well as creating my own style. I try to experiment with many mediums but am focusing on horsehair baskets and soapstone pipes and sculptures for the moment, with moccasins shortly.  I feel a deep connection to both the plant and animal worlds, and try to incorporate them as much as possible in my art, honoring all they provide for us.

 With the knowledge that has been passed to me from previous generations, I have been blessed with the gift of a child on the way. Now there is another generation to carry on our cultural traditions, and another art form for me all-together.


Email: [email protected]

Image of Cranberry and maple cured duck breast, wild rice, Vermont cranberry bran & butternut ragout, boiled cornbread, and house blueberry and vinegar reduction.
Cranberry and maple cured duck breast, wild rice, Vermont cranberry bran & butternut ragout, boiled cornbread, and house blueberry and vinegar reduction
Image of Jacobs cattle beans, cured duck breast ham, and maple syrup baked in Blue Hubbard Squash.
Jacobs cattle beans, cured duck breast ham, and maple syrup baked in Blue Hubbard Squash
Image of Salt and smoked maple glazed bear jerky.
Salt and smoked maple glazed bear jerky



Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.


Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.


  • Eastern Woodland Fiber Arts (permanent exhibit), Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • “Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions” – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World –  Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, N.H.


Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Committee Member since 2013

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