One of the most important reasons that the four Vermont State Recognized Tribes sought recognition in the late 2000’s was to permit our artists to proudly proclaim that their work is officially labeled as “American Indian” under Federal law.
We are proud that our tribes have outstanding certified fine, decorative and performing artists, with diverse skills including wood, horn, bone and stone working, clothing and fashion accessories, painting and sculpture as well as song, dance and storytelling. We also have art historians and consultants who can place this wonderful artistic exuberance in a larger cultural context. All of the artists and performers in this association are citizens of State Recognized Tribes, and are able to legally sell their arts as “Abenaki,” or “Indian” under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. In addition, they all have proven track records of having their art, performance or expertise presented, collected, shown or sold by galleries, museums, educational institutions, tribal governments or other appropriate venues.
In the wake of State Recognition in 2011 and 2012 Abenaki artists and tribal leaders have recognized that they needed an association 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 our artists. This website is one of the first fruits of this collaborative effort. We are proud to welcome you to the Vermont Abenaki Artist Association. We believe in our artists, and we are sure you will too.
Signed this day September 3, 2013
- Joe Bertrand, Chairperson, Missisquoi Tribal Council
- Bernie Mortz, Chief, Koasek Abenaki Band
- Roger Longtoe Sogomo, Elnu Abenaki Tribe
- Don Stevens, Chief, Nulhegan Abenaki Band
Here are some resources if anyone is interested in learning more about State Recognition
Vermont State Recognition Process – State website (medium length)
Federalism and State Recognized Tribes – article about state recognition including Vermont (very long)
State Recognition of American Indian Tribes on the National Congress of State Legislatures website (quick read)