The VAAA and the Abenaki Arts and Education Center often work together or with some of our sponsors to present programs during the year. Over the past several years, we have had the opportunity to feature some wonderful programs by artists, genealogists, ecologists, a poet laureate…….and the list goes on.
If you have missed a program that you really wanted to attend, or if you want to revisit any of the programs, please review the following list and click on the provided link to be taken to our YouTube page.
Note that all the videos listed below have Human Generated Captions for Accessibility.Special thanks to the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities for their support.
Speaker Series Shares Indigenous and Scientific Views of American Abenaki Heritage, March 7 & 22
In March, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) is pleased to present the 2023 Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series. The term “Two-Eyed seeing,” coined by Mi’kmaw Nation Elder Albert Marshall, describes the experience of seeing the strength of Indigenous knowledge with one eye and the strength of Western knowledge with the other. Series speakers will share perspectives on community relationships to regional waterways, including archaeology, ecology, advocacy, Western and Indigenous science, and more. All programs in the Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series are presented on Zoom, thanks to support from . . . Click here to read more
Speaker series shares views of American Abenaki heritage
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Local Abenaki artists are encouraging people to open their minds to different perspectives.
The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association in February and March is presenting the “Two-Eyed Seeing” speaker series, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, director of the VAAA says two-eyed seeing is a way of viewing the world from both an indigenous and western perspective. She says the goal of the series is to help folks see the bigger picture.
“I’m hoping everyone comes away with this idea that we have this amazing world and so many different types of people and to bring diverse perspectives to the way we look at archaeology . . . read more
In honor of World Water Day on March 22, the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) is presenting “Kwanitekw (Connecticut River): The Sustainer of Life.” The event is the third in the organization’s “Two-Eyed Speaker Series” that started Feb. 21. The term “Two-Eyed Seeing,” was coined by Mi’kmaw Nation Elder Albert Marshall, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association Director Vera Longtoe Sheehan said in an email to The Bridge. “As Marshall explains, “Etuaptmumk — Two-Eyed Seeing . . . refers to learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges . . . read more
In February and March, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) is pleased to present the 2023 Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series. The term “Two-Eyed seeing,” coined by Mi’kmaw Nation Elder Albert Marshall, describes the experience of seeing the strength of Indigenous knowledge with one eye and the strength of Western knowledge with the other. Series speakers will share perspectives on community relationships to regional waterways, including archaeology, ecology, advocacy, Western and Indigenous science, and more. Admission is free, and donations are welcome.
All programs in the Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series are presented on Zoom, thanks to support from the Vermont Humanities and Vermont Arts Council.
February 21, 7pm. Frederick M. Wiseman, Ph. D. presented Heritage Forensics: Rethinking Indigenous Ways of Knowing in an Increasingly Dangerous World. Since the 1990s, Indigenous research has moved toward awareness of many different truths, each depending on one’s cultural or political perspective. “Politicized rewriting of Native history poses a distinct threat to such emerging Indigenous ways of exploring the world,” says Dr. Wiseman. “Indigenous and scientific ways of knowing can work together to preserve a legitimate American Abenaki biocultural history and worldview.” Registration Closed
Image: This ancestral American Abenaki beadwork from Waterville, Vermont, created about 1845, was identified by Dr. Wiseman. Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center Collection
March 7, 7pm. A Deep Presence and a More Inclusive History. Rep. Sherry Gould (Nulhegan Abenaki), member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and Dr. Robert Goodby of Monadnock Archaeological Consulting are long-time friends and collaborators. As charter members of the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs, Sherry served as Chair and Bob was the representative appointed by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. Their work together includes educational projects funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Abenaki Trails Project that seeks to honor and share a more inclusive history of the Abenaki people and to highlight historical Abenaki sites. Registration closed
March 22, 7pm. Kwanitekw (Connecticut River): The Sustainer of Life. In honor of World Water Day, a panel of Indigenous citizens and environmental scientists share multiple perspectives on living in relationship with the Connecticut River watershed. Panelists include Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation) Education Director of the Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS) and Traditional Native American Storyteller; Vera Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki Tribe) and Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Abenaki Arts & Education Center; Kathy Urffer, River Steward with the Connecticut River Conservancy; and Matt Devine, Fisheries Biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Gabriel Benjamin, Public Historian and IAIS Museum Educator serves as Moderator. Register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtcuGvpj0rHNSwpRzRKqYc05cw7RmeL4ix
Most recently, Vera Longtoe Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki Tribe) curated the exhibit Nebizun: Water is Life, which is touring New England 2022-2024.
As a traditional Native American storyteller, Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation) understands the importance of educating both young and old about the many misconceptions and stereotypes about her ancestors, providing children and adults the opportunity to have a new understanding of Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples both in the past and in the present.
Matt Devine is a Fisheries Biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
As a River Steward, Kathy Urffer works to protect and restore the Connecticut River and its tributaries. She enjoys re-learning about the natural world through the eyes of her two children.
VAAA is grateful for the support for this Speaker Series from the Vermont Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Vermont Humanities.
Program partners for the Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series include Abenaki Arts and Education Center (AAEC), Abenaki Trails Project, the Connecticut River Conservancy, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CDEEP), Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS), and Monadnock Archaeological Consulting LLC.
Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi
Juried Artist since 2013
Fred Wiseman teaches Wabanaki decorative arts, ceremonial oratory, dance and song based on historical precedent, but adapted for modern venues and audience.
His most recent (2010-) work focuses on the choreography, stagecraft, regalia and ceremonial accoutrements for dances and ceremonies associated with the agricultural and ceremonial calendar, from Winter solstice observances through spring planting ceremonies, to the various sun dances through the green corn and harvest supper observances. However, in the past, he has worked in other media and formats from “fashion shows” to ceremonial gaming, to the crafting of arms and armor.
Fred uses whatever is necessary to accomplish the goal, from set (stage) design to rock and shell carving to clothing to video and printed word.
I am a scholar and artist whose purpose is to connect the Indigenous Peoples of Vermont and their environs to their stylistic heritage by all means necessary, whether it be through film/graphic arts, the performing arts or the decorative arts. Professional goals and objectives revolve first around repatriation, the converting of written data, or archival music artifacts and imagery held by Euroamerican institutions into formats and systems of knowing usable by Indigenous people and organizations for cultural reclamation and revitalization. Second, it incorporates tradition and revelation as guideposts in this work. Third it incorporates going beyond recaptured tradition to synthesize antique materials and motifs with the contemporary, to envision an alternative, syncretic stylistic world that could answer –“what if Genocide of Northeastern Natives had been less complete?” Southwestern and Plains Native styles rooted in deep time arts tradition flourish in the West, why not allow this to happen in Indigenous Vermont?
My work is not available for sale to the Euroamerican public, it exclusively produced for tribal governments, organizations and citizens and lent or given at no cost to the recipient. The artist’s designs and productions, ranging from regalia to wampum belts and collars belong to the Pleasant Point and Indian Township Governors (ME), The Citizens of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs (ME), the Grand Chief of the Seven Nations at Akwesasne (NY), and the Chiefs and Tribal Councils of Missisquoi, Nulhegan and Koasek (VT).
However, my work has been exhibited and studied over the years at the various venues listed below.
1994 “The Spirit of the Abenaki.” Chimney Point Historic Site. Jewelry and sculpture.
1994-1995 “The Light Of the Dawn.” Chimney Point Historic Site. Jewelry and wood sculpture
“Shamans, Magicians and the Busy Spider” Rochester Museum of Art. Rochester, NY. Jewelry and wood sculpture.
“Abenaki Dawn” American Indian Institute. Washington, CT. Jewelry and wood sculpture.
“Light from the Dawnland” San Diego Museum of Man. San Diego, CA. Jewelry and wood
1998- 2008 Abenaki Tribal museum, Swanton, VT (All museum installations)
1999 The Great Council Fire Performance. The Akwesasne Cultural Center (NY)
“Wabanaki Wampum” Old York (ME) Historical Society. Wampum belts
“Notes from the Underground” Shelburne Museum. Stone wampum, wood
2001 Kanien’kehaka Raotitionhkwa Culture Centre (Kahnawake QC) “Seven and Six (Nations) Exhibit.
2001-2003 New Hampshire Historical Society Museum, various exhibits and event)
2004 “Wabanaki Memories. Missisquoi Valley HS Stone, Wampum, wood.
2004 Museé des Abénakis (QC) (my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)
Great Council Fire Exhibition Museé des Abénakis. Wampum and stonework.
“Against the Darkness” Screened at the Museé des Abénakis (Odanak, QC), March 22, 2005
“Against the Darkness” Screened at Mashentucket Pequot Museum. Mashentucket, CT. Oct. 16, 2005
“Against the Darkness” (35 Minute digital video) Screened at the Vermont Archaeological Society, Oct. 1, 2005
“The Material Heritage of 17th Century Vermont. Lake Champlain Quadricentennial “Workshop” St. Michael’s College, June 13, 2007
2007-2013 The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, June, Indigenous Heritage Celebration (also my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)
2008 Passamaquoddy Section of the Downeast Heritage Museum, (ME) (my materials are on permanent exhibit there)
2010 ECHO Science Center and Lake Aquarium, Materials of Culture: 10,000 years of Abenaki Attire (also my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)
Indian Township Museum (ME), (my materials are on permanent exhibit there.)
Wapohnaki Museum (ME) “Language and Object” Exhibit and Discussion.
2011 “Before the Lake Was Champlain” Screened at the New England Antiquities Research Association Conference, Burlington, VT. October 2011
“1609:the other side of history.” Screened at the Swanton 250th Anniversary
“Dinner and a Movie” Program. Swanton, VT, April 28, 2013
Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
All My Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH.
Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.
Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.
Mapping antiques. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro ME. Feb. 14-15C.
Folk art and antiques: a different view. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME
The case of the peripatetic candleholder. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME July 34-35 B.
1990 Some Queen Anne furniture of the Federal Period. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro ME
“The Colchester Jar” pp. 98-99; “Quillwork trinket box; thimble cover, notions basket and pincushion”; “Beaded reticule” pp. 178-183; “Rectangular bark container”, pp. 204-205; and “Tipi and canoe”, pp. 216-217. In Graff, N.P.
Celebrating Vermont: Myths and Realities.University Press of New England.Hanover
American Indian Art and Native Americans. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, ME
Bapwoganal Alnobaiwi: The Games of Wôbanakik Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT. 3 figures. 10 pp.
Ngwegigaden, an Abenaki year.(11″ X 17″ Three-color poster and accompanying handbook). Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT
Wôbanakik. (11″ X 17″ Three-color poster map and accompanying handbook) Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT
We were always here. (9″ X 17″ Two-color poster and accompanying handbook) Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT
The Gift of the Forest. Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook Series # 1. Lane Press. Burlington, VT. 10 figures. 12pp.
Wôbanakik, the Ancient Land of the Dawn. (18″ X 24″ Four-color map and accompanying handbook) Cartography by Kevin Ruelle. Horseman Press. Burlington, VT
Wild Plant Foods of the Abenaki. Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook Series # 2. Lane Press. Burlington, VT. 12 pp.
Abenaki Clothing Ethan Allen Homestead Abenaki Handbook Series # 3. Lane Press. Burlington, VT. 7 figures. 12pp.
An Annotated bibliography and resources list for Abenaki studies. Cedarwood Press. Underhill, VT. 22 pp.
“New Abenaki Booklets available.” in The Oracle. Summer, 1995. Ethan Allen Homestead. Burlington VT. p. 3.
“A view from within” Vermont Humanities. Winter 1994-95. Vt. Council on the Humanities, Hyde Park, VT. p. 6.
1996 History in beads. Historic Roots. Pp. 25-30 Montpelier, VT.
Linda Pearo, Frederick Wiseman, Madeline Young and Jeff Benay. New Dawn: The Western Abenaki, a Curricular Framework for the Middle Level. Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Title IX Indian Education Program, 14 First St. Swanton, VT 05488
1997 Wobobial. (18X26 pictorial poster and accompanying handbook) Abenaki Tribal Museum. Lane Press, Burlington
2000 The Abenaki and the Winooski. In L. Krawitt. The Mills at Winooski Falls. Onion River Press. Pp. 7-10 Winooski
2001 The Voice of the Dawn University Press of New England. Hanover, NH.
“Abenaki”, “Abenaki Heritage Days” p. 31; “Mahicans” pp. 194-195;
“Missisquoi Village” p. 207;
“Winoskik” 327 in Duffy, J, S. hand and R. Orth. Vermont Encyclopedia University Press of New England, Hanover
“Truthless”. Seven Days, Sept. 10-17, 2003. p. 4A
The Wabanaki World Vol. I : Decolonizing a taken prehistory of the Far Northeast University Press of New England
Blom, Deborah, James Petersen and —– “Repatriation and Monument Road:
Abenaki and archaeologists efforts to find a solution.” In Jordan Kerber. Cross Cultural Collaboration. University of Nebraska Press
“Changeling” Video, Miraclegirl Productions. 1522 Harvard Street Apartment 5, Santa Monica, CA (Producer)
“Calumet to crisis and back.” (Video) Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Office of Indian Education (Producer/Director/Filmographer)
At Lake Between. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT, Champlain Tech Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT
“1609: The other side of history. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT (Producer/Director)
2009 “1609: Quadricentennial Curriculum” Lake Champlain Maritime Museum lcmm.org/navigating
Baseline 1609. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, VT
“Before the Lake Was Champlain” Hidden Landscapes Productions 1 Hewins Farm Rd., Wellesley, MA (Co-Producer)
“The New Antiquarians” Hidden Landscapes Productions 1 Hewins Farm Rd., Wellesley, MA 02481 (Co-Producer)
____ and Melody Walker. The Abenakis and their Neighbors: Teachers and Interpreters resources. Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Montpelier, VT.
Reclaiming Western Wabanaki Ceremony: A Handbook for Cultural Revitalization. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2012:8. 313pp.2013
Theo Panadis sings Wabanaki songs. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:4. CD
Wabanaki Confederacy political and ceremonial songs. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:5.
Wabanaki Songs: Fun, Dance and Ceremony. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:6
Lets Learn Abenaki Songs I. Wôbanakik Heritage Center, Swanton, VT Indigenous Vermont Series 2013:8.n.d. P
Proposed K-12 Curriculum on Indigenous Vermont Studies Manuscript housed in the Wôbanakik Heritage Center archives
1998 Highest ceremonial honors, Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi
2001 Great Peace of Montreal Honor Ceremony and Honor Inscription Museé de Montreal, Montreal, QC
2002 Keynote Speaker, Native American Studies in New England, University of New Hampshire
2005 Wampum Carrier, Seven Fires Alliance, Akwesasne Reserve, NY
2007 Keynote address. Vermont Alliance for Social Studies, Burlington, VT December, 7, 2007
2009 “Governor’s Award” Vermont Lake Champlain International Ceremony July 11, 2009
Elnu Tribe Honor Ceremony Recipient of Gratitude. Basin Harbor, VT
Nulhegan Band Honor Ceremony. Basin Harbor VT
Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
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