Abenaki Heritage Weekend 2023

Abenaki Heritage Weekend poster

June 17-18 at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

On June 17-18, 2023, citizens of the New England Abenaki community will gather at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to celebrate their history and heritage, and the public is invited! Organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, this free event is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. 

One of the highlights is the Native Arts Marketplace of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, where visitors can talk to artists, watch craft demonstrations, and purchase outstanding beadwork, paintings, jewelry, wampum, woodwork, leatherwork, drums, and other items. 

“The variety and quality of the work created by our Abenaki artists is outstanding,” said Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Executive Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. “Some of our artists create traditional art and some create contemporary art, often inspired by tradition. If you are looking to purchase a special gift or something new for your collection, be sure to visit the Native Arts Marketplace.”

Throughout the weekend there will be activities of interest to everyone. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy singing and drumming by the Nulhegan Drum — you may even be invited to drum with them. Children and adults alike should not miss storytelling by Abenaki author and historian Joseph Bruchac, and songs for the little ones with Francine Poitras Jones. 

Artists in the Arts Marketplace include Michael Descoteaux demonstrating the making of hand drums; Elnu Abenaki Elder Jim Taylor making wampum beads from whelk and quahog shells; and Linda Longtoe Sheehan weaving wampum, an intricate process using the shell beads. On Saturday, meet basketmaker Kerry Wood. On Sunday, visit the “Make and Take” table, where children can make a gift to bring home for Father’s Day.

A new special exhibit, Beyond the Curve: The American Abenaki Covid Experience will open during Heritage Weekend in the Schoolhouse Gallery, and will be on view all season. Artwork and stories by 20 American Abenaki artists illustrate the impact of the pandemic in the Abenaki homeland and the resilience of Abenaki people during troubled times. Meet the curator, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, for a gallery talk. 

Thanks to Vermont Humanities, Vermont Arts Council, and Vermont Department of Health for their sponsorship of the event. For more information on Abenaki Heritage Weekend, visit: AbenakiArt.org/abenaki-heritage-weekend.

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Darryl Peasley

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Darryl Peasley is for the most part a self taught arts and crafts person who creates contemporary style pieces.  He uses his imagination to make his pouches, dance sticks and hats come to life. 

Darryl started in 2003 by creating pouches made of deer skin with fringe with some edge beading, He made some dance sticks from tree branches that spoke to him and a turtle shell purse from a turtle shell that said …”make me into something special” and that’s what he did.  Darryl started vending at Pow Wows and found people really liked his work. Then Darryl introduced top hats and derbies to the Pow Wow circuit at a New Hampshire Intertribal Council event.  Soon Darryl was known as “The Hat Guy”. 

In 2013, Darryl was awarded a NH Council for the Arts Folk Art scholarship that allowed him to apprentice under master bead worker Debbie Bazin Dostie.  During his apprenticeship Darryl demonstrated loom beading at Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum during several of their events. 


Artist Statement

I enjoy working with all sorts of media. I use leather, bone, glass beads and feathers. I use bone beads to create choker style hat bands. I use leather to create the different style pouches or a hat band and glass beads to put a decorative edge on a pouch or hat band.  I like creating loom pieces on the loom I made for my apprenticeship.  My biggest joy is when someone sees one of my creations and they enjoy it as much as I do…that makes my day!   


Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Abenaki Trails Project

Stop Hate Toward Abenaki. Mountain Times. May 3, 2023

Dear Editor

Race-based attacks and harmful stereotypes are putting Vermont’s Abenaki communities in jeopardy and it needs to stop. This week is Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week, yet international special-interest groups are threatening state-recognized Abenaki tribes with cultural erasure in an effort to position themselves for recognition and rights within the United States. Click here to read the entire letter to the editor.

Governor Recognized Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. Saint Alban’s Messenger. May 4, 2023

SWANTON — For the fifth consecutive year, Gov. Phil Scott has recognized May 1-7 as Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week.

Abenaki Alliance logo with mountains, water, and sun.The State of Vermont recognizes four Western Abenaki tribes: the Elnu Abenaki, the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, and the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis-Sokoki Band.

“This week we celebrate andhonor the heritage and culture of the Abenaki people in Vermont,” Scott said in a press release. “Vermont is stronger for the contributions of Indigenous people.” Click here to read the full article.

First Week in May being designated Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. NBC Channel 5

First week in May designated Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week

“We owe the Abenaki people of Vermont and indigenous tribes across this country an enormous debt, one that can never fully be repaid.” Click here to visit the NBC5 website and view the newscast.

Vermont Delegation Statement Commemorating Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. Bernie Sanders/Vermont.gov. April 28, 2023

“It is with great honor and respect that we come together to celebrate Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week, the centuries-old culture and rich heritage of the Abenaki people, and the descendants of the Western Abenaki Tribes that originally inhabited the land we now call Vermont. We owe the Abenaki people of Vermont, and Indigenous tribes across this country, an enormous debt, one that can never fully be repaid. Today we are incredibly fortunate that the four bands of Vermont – the Elnu Abenaki tribe; the Nulhegan band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation; the Koasek Abenaki of the Koas; and the Missisquoi, St. Francis-Sokoki band – have preserved and continue to share their traditions, from their art and music to their dedicated stewardship of their traditional homeland. During this week of recognition and celebration, and every day, we are honored to stand with the Abenaki Tribes of Vermont and Indigenous peoples all across the country.” Click here to visit Senator Sanders’ website.

Vermont delegation statement commemorating Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week. Vermont Biz. April 28, 2023

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont), and Representative Becca Balint (D-Vermont) today issued the following delegation statement in commemoration of Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week which begins Monday, May 1 – Click here to read more …….

Vermont Native Communities Support the Vatican’s Repudiation of the “Doctrine of Discovery”

Long-awaited opportunity to move forward after 500+ years of cultural annihilation

Vermont Business Magazine On March 30, 2023, a joint statement (link is external) from Roman Catholic Church leaders formally acknowledged and took accountability for “the terrible effects” of more than 560 years of assimilation policies and the resulting “pain experienced by indigenous people.” Click here to read more . . .

Water is Life Teach In

Bookmark for Water is Life Teach-in.

The Abenaki Arts & Education Center is excited to announce the Water is Life Abenaki Teach-In on March 25, in Vergennes, VT.

In this all-day workshop, Abenaki Arts & Education Center educators will inspire teachers with interactive, media-rich content that links 12,000 years of Abenaki history with 21st-century civic engagement. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of the region’s diversity through the voices of the American Abenaki people.


From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River Valley, the life-bringing waters of N’Dakinna (Abenaki for “Our Homeland”) were our earliest highways for travel. The water itself is important to the plants, fish, animals, birds, and other wildlife that are necessary to our way of life.

Presenters will illustrate the Abenaki relationship to water, awareness of water as a fundamental element necessary for all life, and concern that pollution of water can change our traditional lifeways and the health of all our relations, human and animal.

Participants will investigate resources, interaction with Abenaki culture bearers, and be introduced to culturally responsive and sustaining teaching strategies to effectively incorporate diverse narratives into their curriculum.

Registered teachers and homeschoolers will also be invited to attend additional virtual sessions, and be given access to additional bonus content.The program is presented in partnership between Abenaki Arts & Education Center, and Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, and supported in part by Vermont Humanities.

Four Abenaki tribes were recognized by the State of Vermont following an arduous process which included proving their ancestry and enduring community presence in Vermont. After reviewing tribal recognition applications and verifying the data, the Vermont state legislature voted unanimously three times to recognize the tribes. Gov. Peter Shumlin codified their legal status as Native American tribes for the Elnu and
Nulhegan Abenaki Tribes in 2011 and the Koasek and Missisquoi Abenaki Tribes in
2012. Their legal status as state recognized tribes is now codified into Vermont law.
The teacher training will be held at The Bixby Memorial Free Library in Vergennes, VT.
“The Bixby follows the Vermont Forward Plan and Vergennes City COVID guidelines.
Masks are welcome but not required. The library has industrial HEPA room air purifiers
installed throughout the building, eliminating unwanted dust particles, germs, and
contaminants” says Amber Lay, Assistant Director of the Bixby Library.

For more information and to register for the teacher training please visit https://abenaki-edu.org/

Abenaki Arts and Education Association logo.



About Waolôwzi Health and Wellness

Waolôwzi (waw-law-zee) is an Abenaki phrase meaning “be very well” and “continue to live very well.” It is often used in closing a conversation between people. However, Waolôwzi took on a new meaning when faced with the consequences of the COVID-19 Global pandemic including, but not limited to, closures, and shortages.

Background

VAAA began the Waolôwzi program as an online campaign to help the Abenaki community during this pandemic and to help promote social and mental wellness, celebrate positive changes in N’dakinna, share resources, and remind everyone to be kind. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the program evolved and began outreach to the community, even providing much-needed supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, and COVID-19 test kits.

Since then, Waolôwzi has become a permanent fixture of VAAA dedicated to the health and welfare of the community.

Waolôwzi: Abenaki Health and Wellness seeks to improve the health and well-being of the community of N’dakinna.  Through a melding of traditional and contemporary medicine, our mission is to holistically provide support and resources that are centered in and responsive to the communities we serve while also creating space for cross-cultural healing and understanding.

Our Values:

We embrace a holistic model of care, which treats each individual as a whole person, acknowledging and responding to their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social service needs.

We recognize and respect the diversities of culture, identity, and traditions within our homeland.

Community building and harmonious relations

Accomplishments

  • Provided a health clinic at the annual Abenaki Heritage Weekend (2023)
  • Distributed over 780 COVID-19 testing kits to Native American community (2021-2022)
  • Virtual meetups (2020-2021)
  • Provided PPE to almost 280 Abenaki artists, Elders, and community members (2020-2021)
  • Launched a social media to share important news about protecting the community
  • Social media positivity campaign celebrating graduates and good news

Supporters and Allies

Events & News

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association provides exhibiting artist members with the opportunity to have their work judged by esteemed arts professionals, and to exhibit their work in museum exhibits. Abenaki artists produce and participate in many cultural events, special exhibits, art shows and collaborations each year. Follow our Events Calendar to keep up with the latest virtual and in-person happenings.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.

Art & Artists

Explore Abenaki Artistry: Navigate Your Way

Welcome to the heart of Abenaki creativity. Here, you have the power to choose your artistic journey, exploring the diverse expressions of our talented Abenaki artists. Select your path below and uncover the rich heritage embedded in each masterpiece:

1. Alphabetical Showcase: Embark on a journey through the names of our remarkable artists. This path connects you with the individuals behind the art, inviting you to discover their unique stories and inspirations.

2. Art by Medium: Immerse yourself in the magic of different artistic mediums – quillwork, wampum, paintings, and more. Each medium reflects a distinct facet of Abenaki creativity, transporting you into the heart of our culture.

3. Artist Memorial Pages: Pay homage to the artists who have left a lasting imprint on our community and culture. Through these memorial pages, we remember and celebrate their contributions, ensuring their artistic spirits remain alive in our hearts.

Your choice, your journey. Whichever path you choose, you’re engaging with the living legacy of the Abenaki people, a legacy that bridges the gap between tradition and innovation. Each brushstroke, beadwork, and creation tells a story – a story that becomes richer with every step you take.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.

Late Period (1890-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont, PDF Series

by Frederick Mathew Wiseman, Ph.D.

 

Publication from the the Indigenous Vermont Series 2012:9, published courtesy of Wôbanakik Heritage Center.

EXCERPT FROM INTRODUCTION

 “The prime directive of Haven is to reclaim lost, fragmented or otherwise damaged cultural practice and belief from Indigenous Vermont, and to a certain extent, applicable forms of documentation from neighboring areas.  A second important principle is the repair of fragmented or damaged cultural practice by using all available reconstructive/healing tools.  The third function of Haven is to make the repaired information available to those Indigenous Vermonters and their neighbors, who have any interest in reviving lapsed culture.  The fourth reason; and the one that gives Haven its name, is to safely archive this information in a format that will be of use to future Indigenous generations, if the current one is uninterested. 

Probably the one craft that is universally recognized as giving Indian Identity is the ash splint basket.  Although probably not made before the 18th century, Indigenous Vermonters, as well as other regional tribes became masters of the craft.  Much of the early history of Indigenous Vermont Baskets are to be found in other Haven publications.”

Late Period (1870-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont – Part 1. 11 pages.

  • Introduction
  • Part1: Basket History and Technology & Preparing the materials for the Fancy Basket

Late Period (1870-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont – Part 1A. 11 pages.

  • Decorative overweave, or “Cowiss”
  • Basket Handles and Hinges

Late Period (1870-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont.  Part 2. 11 pages.

  • Part Two: Baket Types Represented in Vermont
  • Multi-purpose work and arm baskets

Late Period (1870-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont Part 2A. 13 pages

  • Knitting and Tatting baskets
  • Baskets for the Hall Table
  • Baskets for the Dining Room
  • An unclassified basket
  • Hampers. goose down baskets and other large, “fancy” baskets
  • Basket for the Field and Lake
  • Bibliography

Back to THE HISTORIC INDIGENOUS ARTS OF  VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE

About Us

The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association was a long time in the making. After the state of Vermont recognized the four tribes, we realized there was a need to collaborate so that our artists could be found. Please read Our Story, which follows, and then click on Abenaki History for detailed information about the types of art created by our people in the past and present.

Abenaki Historic Art↗

Learn about the historic Indigenous arts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Current Shows ↗

Stay updated and see our current exhibitions here.

Our Artists

Artists are organized by media and skill level.

Call to Artists

Image of Call to Artists button with link to more information.

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt all over N’dakinna (our homeland) for over three years. Now we have an opportunity for Native American visual and performing artists to create and share artwork that expresses their response to the pandemic experience. 

We are looking for Abenaki or Native American artists, musicians, and community members who can help to express the impact of this pandemic on ourselves, our families and community, through visual or performing arts, or simply sharing stories of personal experience and perceptions about the the COVID-19 global pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access.  

We are defining artwork in its broadest form. All artistic mediums are welcome. Paintings, collage, mixed media, carving, sculpture, fiber, weaving, pottery, poetry, photography, music, storytelling, dance, video… 

The stories and artwork will be shared in an online exhibit about our experiences and will be considered for possible inclusion in a museum exhibit and educational materials. 

Eligible Native American artists will submit artwork by December 31, 2022, with an artist statement that explains the artwork, and a brief intake form. 

For more information, email [email protected]

Image of news room button with link to news room page.
Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..
Image of Storytelling Blog button and link to Storytelling Blog page.
Image of button for About the Abenaki Storytelling Project and link..

Sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health.

Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project Memory Booth Blog

December 5, 2022 – We are so honored that Abenaki and other Native American Families are trusting us with their family stories about vaccines, disparity, and access issues they are experiencing. During storytelling sessions, we provide participants with many different types of art materials to help them express themselves. Here is an example of a process drawing that was created during a storytelling session. What do you see when you look at it?

We are looking for Abenaki or Native American artists, musicians, and community members to help express the impact of this pandemic ourselves and our local community through visual or performing arts, share stories of personal experience and perceptions about the COVID-19 global pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access.

All artistic media are welcome: painting, collage, mixed media, carving, sculpture, fiber, weaving, pottery, poetry, photography, music, storytelling, dance, video, & more . . .

Contact Us!
If you are interested in submitting work or would like more information, email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.

November 15, 2022 – We are grateful to everyone who is participating in the Abenaki Storytelling Project. We’ve spent months collecting stories and artwork about the Native American COVID experience in Vermont. The stories are like legos that come in different sizes and shapes.

A pile of legos in many colors.

October 20, 2022 – Our team attended the Mending Ourselves, Together conference at the UVM Davis Center, Burlington and we share our community initiative with healthcare professionals interested in health equity.

August 19 – 20, 2022 – We set up a memory booth at the Nulhegan Heritage Gathering, Camp Sunrise Cub Scouting Camp. Community members created artwork and shared their COVID memories.

October 1, 2022 – Visit the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association’s Storytelling booth at the Indigenous People’s Day Rocks event in Stowe on October 8th. Mayo Farm Fields, Stowe, VT.

August 3, 2022 – We are excited to announce we will be gathering stories and artwork about the Native American COVID experience in Vermont at the Nulhegan Abenaki Gathering at Camp Sunrise Cub Scouting Camp. Stop by our booth and tell us your story. Artwork and stories will inform an upcoming traveling museum and digital exhibition.

July 15, 2020 – Are there incentives for participating in the Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project Memory Booth? Recently, we were asked if there are any incentives for participating in Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project Memory Booth. Individuals who participate in the Memory Booth may select their choice of either an I support the Abenaki t-shirt or an insulated drink cup. There are monetary incentives available for one-on-one storytelling or focus group storytelling sessions.

Insulated cup – incentive for participation in the Abenaki Storytelling Project
T-shirt – incentive for participation in the Abenaki Storytelling Project

June 20, 2022

VAAA’s Executive Director Vera Longtoe Sheehan did a presentation about the Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project at the annual at Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT. After the presentation, people flocked over to the Memory Booth seeking more information. We collected stories and artwork from more than 18 Native American people!

A large group of people in the art pavilion for the Storytelling Memory Booth.

June 13, 2022

The VAAA Storytelling Project will be hosting a Memory Booth at various community events around N’Dakinna (our homeland). The Memory Booth is a place where Abenaki people can create artwork and tell their stories to promote health and wellness. This year, we are processing our thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access. VAAA will have a Memory Booth set up at our annual Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 18-19, 2022. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Look for a Memory Booth near you.

Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..

June 5, 2022

Like everyone else in the world, the Abenaki community has been greatly affected by the global pandemic and the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association is no exception. VAAA’s Abenaki Storytelling project will “allow us to explore this period of our history in a way that hasn’t been done before. Abenakis will tell and interpret their own experience about the pandemic and vaccination intake,” says VAAA Executive Director Vera Longtoe Sheehan.

May 25

We are excited to share the logo for our banners and website.

Storytelling Project logo

May 15, 2022

What is the Abenaki Storytelling Project?

The Abenaki Storytelling Project is a community-based arts and storytelling project that focuses on Native American strength and resiliency. The project is led by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA), a Native American arts organization that serves the public by connecting them to Abenaki educators and artists from the visual, performing, and literary arts. VAAA has special expertise in working with Abenaki artists and incorporating their arts and storytelling into public programs, cultural events, and museum exhibitions. VAAA uses insights from Native American arts and storytelling to uplift Abenaki voices and perspectives in the interpretation of museum exhibitions, education resources, and in health equity.

Links to other Storytelling Project Pages:

Image of Call to Artists button with link to more information.
Image of button for About the Abenaki Storytelling Project and link..
Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..
Image of news room button with link to news room page.

About the Storytelling Project

Image of rectangular shaped poster for the Storytelling project that says "Share Your Story!"

The Abenaki Storytelling Project is a community-based art project that supports Native American strength and resiliency. Over the past several years, the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association has sponsored several exhibits to promote the constantly evolving story of the lives of the Abenaki in N’Dakinna (our homeland). We utilize Native American arts and storytelling to uplift regional Abenaki voices and perspectives in museum exhibitions, programs, and cultural heritage events. When people see themselves reflected in exhibitions, artwork, and programs it is good for the health and wellness of their community by giving them a voice, which helps them know that their history, culture, and memories are important; they are not alone, especially during a time such as the recent pandemic.

The focus of this year’s Storytelling Project is exploring how COVID-19 has affected the Abenaki community. Utilizing arts and storytelling, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) will measure insights on COVID-19, vaccine-related perceptions, disparities, and access among the Native American population in Vermont and throughout N’Dakinna. These insights will be shared with the community of origin and the public through an online digital exhibition and a traveling exhibition in 2023-2024.

General Eligibility Requirements

Participants must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Have an email address
  • Be reachable by phone
  • Be Abenaki, Native American, or Native American descent
  • Other restrictions may apply.

Ways to Participate

  • Memory Booth events (15 minutes) 
  • Focus Groups (60 minutes ) 
  • Individual storytelling session (60-90 minutes) – 
  • Group of friends and/or storytelling session (60-90 minutes)  

Contact

For more information or to see if you qualify to be included, email [email protected] and type Storytelling Project in the subject line.

Check back for project updates!

Image of Call to Artists button with link to more information.
Image of Storytelling Blog button and link to Storytelling Blog page.
Image of news room button with link to news room page.
Click here to visit our News Room.
Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..

Sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health

Digital Capacity Skills Building

Someone using a laptop computer.
Digital Capacity Skills Building (On-Demand)

This program was designed to bridge the opportunity gap for people who have not had opportunities to learn crucial digital skills necessary to collaborate on projects digitally.

The training is produced through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. 

It was  supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council, with funds from the state of Vermont. This project was funded by  Vermont Arts Council.

Click on the course you have an interest in

Google for Collaborating Artists

Tablet showing the Google search bar.
Google provides a platform called Google Workspace for text, spreadsheets, and slides.
  • Google Workspace for Organizing Artist Collaborations: Part 1- Introduction to Google Workspace and Creating a Gmail

This is part one of a four-part series designed to give artists an overview of how to collaborate using Google Workspace tools such as Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets including examples of how each tool can be used by artists. Part 1 in this series includes a primer to teach you how to start a Gmail account, how to perform a Google search, and a tour of the Google Workspace. Click on this link to start the video: https://youtu.be/YAQbe3lqtM0

  • Collaborating with Google Workspace and Zoom (First part of Part 2)

When you are collaborating in Zoom, a colleague may drop a link into the chat box so the group can edit a Google Doc at the same time. This video shows you how to minimize your windows so you can view the Zoom screen share and Google Doc at the same time. It will also show you how to find your Zoom Window if you lose track of it. This training is produced through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. Click on this link to start the video https://youtu.be/eweeaXwmTgE

  • Google Workspace for Organizing Artist Collaborations: Part 2: Google Docs

This is part two of a four-part series, designed to give artists an overview of how to collaborate using Google Workspace tools such as Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets with examples of how each tool can be used by artists.

Contact Us

Contact Us artwork.

Let’s Connect: Reach Out to Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. We’re thrilled to hear from you and to engage in meaningful conversations. Whether you have questions or feedback or simply want to learn more about Vermont Abenaki Artists Association contact us to start the conversation.

18th Century Abenaki Couple in clothing of that period painted by Francine Poitras Jones.
18th Century Abenaki Couple

General Inquiries: Have a question about our programs, events, or mission? We’re here to provide you with the answers you’re seeking. Feel free to contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Collaborations and Partnerships: If you’re interested in collaborating with us, exploring partnerships, or contributing to our initiatives, we’re excited to explore the possibilities together. Let’s discuss how we can create a meaningful impact.

Feedback and Suggestions: Your insights matter to us. If you have suggestions, ideas, or feedback that could help enhance our offerings, we’re all ears. We’re committed to continuous improvement, and your input is invaluable.

Stay Connected: Connect with us through the channels below to stay up-to-date with our latest news, events, and initiatives. We look forward to connecting with you and sharing the journey ahead.

Book an Exhibition: If you’re interested in bringing one of our traveling exhibits to your location, we’re excited to hear from you. Our exhibits offer a unique opportunity to immerse your community in the richness of Abenaki artistry and culture.

We’re here to make meaningful connections and to ensure your experience with us is rewarding and informative. Please contact our Program Coordinator Elisa with any questions or access needs and she will forward your message to the appropriate person.

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Phone: (802) 265-0092

 

In Memory…

This page is created to honor the Abenaki Artists who have crossed over and are walking with our Ancestors. We appreciate the legacy they have left and will remember them always.


Bernie Mortz was an Elder and the War Chief for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. He learned drum making as a boy from his uncle and made high quality hand-made hand drums his entire life. The steady sound of beating one of his drums will move your spirit as you listen to the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

Image of Bernie Mortz.

Bernie was also a wood carver, making war clubs with brass tack inlays, dance sticks, friendship bows and Snowsnakes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with snowsnakes, it is a winter snow sport.

 Bernie was very active in the Abenaki community and did cultural programs in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Image of back side of drum made by Bernie Mortz.
Back side of drum
Image of hand drums made by Bernie Mortz.
Hand drums
Image of war clubs made by Bernie Mortz.
War clubs

Image of Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould
Isabell and her daughter, Sherry Gould

Isabell Nina Blanchard  was very proud to be able to carry on the important family tradition as a basketmaker. Her grandfather, Eber Dyer, was a basketmaker for the Peterborough Basket Company. His parents Simon and Elizabeth (Blake) Dyer were well known Abenaki basket makers in Vermont with the Phillips family.  Isabell was a beloved citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. Her daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Bill Gould, are proud to be able to carry on the tradition of basketmaking and by doing so, Isabell will never truly leave us. Today, she walks with her ancestors and is able to sit by their campfires and continue to learn from them.

Image of Isabell making a basket.
Image of Isabell making a basket.


Image of Suzanne Vermette.

Suzanne Vermette was a Native American educator, historian, story teller, fiber artist, bead worker and native house builder. She also gave speaking engagements, lectures and demonstrations at schools, colleges, museums, and historic sites throughout the Northeast for almost twenty years. Her mother and grandmothers were all fiber artists. Her earliest memories were of learning how to knit, sew, embroider, and tat, from them. Her first piece of needlepoint was in a show when she was just 7 years old. Suzanne expanded on this background and also did finger weaving, twining, beadwork, moose hair embroidery and weaving. She researched these traditional art forms both in print and in museums for several decades. Several of her pieces are in museums in the Northeast. She also worked with hemp, wool, silk, jute and cotton.  

Image of corn husk dolls.
Corn husk dolls
Image of fingerweaving.
Fingerweaving

Rose Hartwell with several of the sashes she made.

Rose Hartwell was a well-respected Elder from the Elnu Abenaki Tribe. She had researched Eastern Native decorative art for more than 25 years.  Rose did remarkable porcupine quillwork, finger weaving, twined and made Traditional Eastern style clothing and regalia items.

Rose also participated in educational programs at museums, historic sites and schools all over New England for more than 20 years.


Image of Billie Largy.
Billie Largy

Billie Largy was an Elder for the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. She was introduced to her culture at a very young age. Her father took her under his wing and made sure she understood the traditions of the Abenaki, specifically concentrating on that which is spiritual. She was a singer of traditional Abenaki songs, as well a drummer. Billie was especially know for the beautiful dreamcatchers she made in a traditional way.

Image of dreamcatcher.
Dreamcatcher
Image of dreamcatcher.
Dreamcatcher
Image of dreamcatcher basket.
Dreamcatcher basket

COVID-19

Following is a list of resources to help during this time.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

Assistance is now available for funeral assistance. Click here to review the help that is available.

Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses

View relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business advisor near you.  Click here to view the official resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Employers

Userful resources for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions are addressing the outbreak are on a web page provided by Littler.  Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic. Featured COVID-19 Resources

  • COVID-19 Labor & Employment Litigation Tracker
  • Bouncing Back:  A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols
  • Facing Your Face Mask Duties – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Stay on Top of “Stay At Home” – A List of Statewide Orders
  • Littler COVID-19 Flash Survey Report

Click here to view Resources available.

Safeguard Your Information 

Times like these bring out the best and unfortunately the worst in some people.  Fear and confusion create an ideal climate for scammers.  Be on the alert for fraud, email phishing, and bogus requests for personal information.  

Tips for Catching and Reporting Suspicious Emails 

  • Inspect emails for grammatical or other errors, even those claiming to be from the CDC or WHO.
  • At no time will you ever receive a call from the IRS, Banks, asking you for your login credentials.
  • Before clicking links, hover over them to see the URL (web address).  If you think it is something of interest, copy the web address and search it to make sure it is legitimate before clicking.
  • If you suspect an email is fraudulent, DO NOT REPLY TO THE EMAIL.  Contact the company or person they are impersonating.  Delete it from your inbox.

Click on this link for more information about safeguarding your information.  Tips and info provided by Citizens Bank.

Nationwide
 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship  

  The new $900 billion COVID relief package is now law!  Here are some highlights.  Please be sure to reach out to your local Women Business Center (WBC)  for additional information. Click here to view funding fact sheet from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Please click this link for U.S. Small Business Administration information about Coronavirus Recovery Information in languages other than English.  

Targeted EIDL Advance – COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance was signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses located in low-income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.

Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants located in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding.

Applicants do not need to take any action at this time. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will reach out to those who qualify.  Click on the respective language for more information in English and Spanish.

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES 

Do you need assistance with any of these programs?  Reach out to our Women’s Business Centers!  Please click on the appropriate link below to schedule a meeting or find contact information for CWE Women’s Business Centers.:

SBA Debt Relief (Payment Deferment)

The SBA announced that if a business already has an SBA loan through a lender, whether it is a 7A, 504 or microloan, the SBA will pay the lender the principal, interest and fees for six months.  The SBA will also defer payments on new SBA 7A loans made before 9/27/2020.   The SBA also announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters.  Deferments through 12/31/2020 will be automatic so borrowers of prior home and business disaster loans do not have to contact the SBA to request deferment.  Please click here to learn more.

COVID-19 Funding Options Portal

As U.S. small businesses continue the hard work of economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to capital is paramount. For some companies and non-profits, they have exhausted their existing funding sources to sustain their operations.  There are many unique funding resources available through Federal, state, and local governments in addition to philanthropy and non-profit organizations.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult for businesses to know where to look or what to look for in finding additional assistance.  Click here to access this mobile-friendly, new resource.

WHAT IT IS: A free, curated list of thousands of funding sources at the national, state, regional, and local levels designed to support small businesses in accessing capital to recover from COVID-19.  The opening page captures programs that are available nationally.  Visitors then only need to enter a ZIP code of interest to see which programs their area may be eligible.  The information is current as of the date of publication, so resource availability may change over time.

Funding providers can submit requested updates, additions, or corrections to the data by emailing the information to [email protected] for evaluation and update.WHAT IT IS NOT: An endorsement by the U.S. Small Business Administration that individuals or small businesses should pursue applications with any of these organizations.  The information is provided for reference only.  Businesses and non-profits are encouraged to independently explore these resources to self-determine if they should pursue further assistance from the programs identified.

Amber Grant for Women – WomensNet

WomensNet founded the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998.  The Foundation was set up with one goal in mind:  to honor the memory of a very special young woman, Amber Wigdahl, who died at just 19 years old – before realizing her business dreams.   Today, WomensNet carries on that tradition, giving away at least $10,000 every month in Amber Grant money.  They have also expanded their grant-giving to include a year-end grant of $25,000.   Applying is simple.  Just take a few minutes to tell them about yourself and your business dream.  No long, complicated forms to fill out.  The $10,000 Amber Grant recipient is announced the first week of every month.  For more information and to apply click here.  

Loan – Kiva

Kiva lenders provide financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. In today’s difficult circumstances, K9iva would like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform – capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.  

  • 0% interest
  • Up to $15,000 loan
  • Grace period of up to 6 months

Kiva.org/borrow

Grants Available from IFund Women

IFundWomen has a wide variety of grants available to their members, from their monthly “pay-it-forward” grant to those from generous partners like Barbara Corcoran, & Systane, Visa, Adidas, Unilever, and more.  Click here for a list of grants.

Coronavirus Tax Relief – Internal Revenue Service

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. The page will be updated as new information is available. The information contained on this site includes: 

  • Dollar for dollar reimbursement for Coronavirus related sick leave costs
  • Employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages
  • Businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advance to small businesses to cover such costs

For more information please click here.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance – U.S. Department of Labor

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, authorizes the President to provide benefit assistance to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster. The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the DUA program and coordinates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to provide the funds to the state UI agencies for payment of DUA benefits and payment of state administration costs under agreements with the Secretary of Labor. Read more.

Work Share Programs – National Conference of State Legislatures

Workshare programs let businesses temporarily reduce the hours of their employees, instead of laying them off during economic downturns.  Technically referred to as short time compensation, the goal of worksharing programs is to reduce unemployment.

Worksharing should not be confused with job sharing, which allows two part-time employees to share one full-time job. Instead, worksharing allows a full-time worker’s hours to be reduced, in lieu of laying off the worker.

Workshare programs benefit businesses, workers and states. Businesses retain their trained workforce, for easy recall to full-time work when economic conditions improve. Workers keep their jobs instead of being laid off, and collect reduced unemployment benefits to partially replace their lost wages. States save money by paying only partial unemployment claims, instead of paying full benefits to laid-off workers.

Under approved workshare programs, employees qualify for a percentage of unemployment benefits, equal to the percentage by which their hours have been reduced. For example, an employee whose hours are cut by 10 percent would qualify for 10 percent of the state’s established weekly unemployment benefit amount. While that does not fully replace the lost wages, the amount supplements a worker’s income until they are recalled to full-time work. Click here for more information or the specific State below.

Massachusetts 

New Hampshire

Rhode Island

Vermont

Coronavirus – Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers – Center for Disease Controls (CDC)

The interim guidance is based on what is currently know about the coronovirus diesease 2019 (COVID-19).  The Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) idates the interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.  Click here for information.

Women-Owned Businesses

Covid-19 Resources for Women-Owned Businesses – WBENC

As a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs, WBENC is committed to helping our constituents address and respond to the impacts caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). As we work with national and regional partners, Corporate and Government Members, and other industry leaders, we will continue to update this page with resources, information, webinars and more to address the many questions and uncertainties many business owners and corporations face, as well as to continue to help fuel business opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Click here for more information

Resources from WBENC-Certified WBEs

Veterans – New England

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources – New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NEVCC)

If you are a veteran or military business owner in new England, please let the NEVCC know if you need assistance.  Click here for a list of resources and information.

Code of Support PATRIOTlink – US Department of Veterans Affairs

Code of Support’s PATRIOTlink® platform is a free online resource database that includes thousands of programs tailored to the military and Veteran community.

Through PATRIOTlink, users can search vetted, direct, cost-free services specific to their needs. PATRIOTlink was recently redesigned to make it even easier to use. Now, users can complete searches by entering less information and they can view events and job opportunities in their area through a news feed feature.  Click here for more information.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Resources & Tools to Elevate Your Business – Effectv and Comcast Business

Recently, small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and environmental events. Black-owned businesses have been some of the hardest hit. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%, versus just 21% for the general population. Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.

Beginning November 24, 2020, all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners will be eligible to apply for Comcast RISE.

Selected businesses could receive one or more of the following business services through Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast, and Comcast Business, a leading provider of technology for businesses of all sizes:

  • Consulting – Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow your business.
  • Media – A linear TV media schedule, over a 90-day period.
  • Creative Production – Turnkey production of a 30-second TV commercial, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
  • Technology Makeover – Computer equipment and Internet, voice and cybersecurity services for 12 months, to support business recovery while implementing other Comcast small business initiatives. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
  • Monetary Grant – To be launched November 24, 2020.

For more information please click here.

Resources

COVID-19 Suppliers – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

WBENC has thousands of Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE), and among them, hundreds that have COVID-related supplies and services.  In the face of this pandemic, WBENC want to help support the procurement needs of the greater business community and to fuel business opportunities for women entrepreneurs.  This list will be shared as part of their COVID-29 resources through the end of May.  Please click here to view the list.

State & Region

Please click on the tab below to view the funding and resources available in your State.

Vermont

Small Business Grants – Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation

Berkshire Bank has earmarked an incremental $500,000 for small business grants to help businesses that do not have the ability to pay.  They are working with Berkshire Bank Foundation and the Foundation for Business Equity, among others, to deploy these dollars across their banking footprint and to sharing more details about these programs in the short term. Berkshire Bank also understand there will be situations where our customers find themselves or their businesses facing financial difficulties that are unique to them.  In those scenarios where hardship is not relieved by low-interest loans or small business grants, Berkshire Bank is asking their customers to reach out to them to further discuss how they may be of assistance. For more information click here.

Regional & Specific Industries

Emergency Loans – Vermont Farm Fund (VFF)

The VFF seeks to minimize the hurdles to secure a loan and receive funds to begin the recovery process.  The maximium Emergency Loan amount is currently $10,000.  This is a zero percent interest loan, payable over 24 months with a flexible payment schedule.  Click here for more information.

Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief Fund – The Vermont Arts Council

The Vermont Arts Council has established a Vermont Rapid Response Artist Relief Fund to respond to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists across the state.  There is information and resources for artists and organizations as well as a guide for creating virtual art experiences during this time of social distancing. Click here for more information.

Guidance

Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReVTA) – Vermont Economic Development

The Vermont Legislature allocated $2.5 million of federal CARES Act funding for small business technical support in Act 137. On September 18, 2020, Governor Scott and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced that the RDCs of Vermont would be tasked with deploying $1,400,000 in technical assistance funding for small businesses across the state under the Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA).

The funding for the ReVTA program is aimed at assisting Vermont businesses and non-profits who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible you must be a Vermont entity conducting activities in Vermont. You may be asked to demonstrate that you operate out of a Vermont property, pay employees who conduct work with Vermont, or have sales and customers in Vermont.

The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont have created Recovery Navigator positions in each region of the state. The Navigators will engage one-on-one with businesses impacted by the pandemic to discern a recovery solution and identify an appropriate technical assistance provider from a network of for-profit and non-profit service providers. Once a recovery path has been determined, the regional Navigator will help connect the business with an appropriate TA provider and together they will develop a Scope of Work.

Once the work is completed, the technical assistance provider will be paid by the grant program. All activities within the Scope of Work must be completed by December 4, 2020. Average TA award is expected to be $3,000.

What is Technical Assistance?

ReVTA allows for a collaborative approach between the business and their Navigator in order to determine what technical assistance project will provide enduring value helping a business to overcome negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Technical assistance (TA) is the process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem.  It is commonly referred to as consulting. TA is one of the most effective methods for building the capacity of an organization for example; sharing information and expertise, instructions, skills, training, transmission of knowledge, and technical expertise.

What could constitute TA Per Section 6 (b) (2) of H. 966 of the 2020 Vermont Legislative Session includes assistance and education with:

  • Business operations, financial management, and grant writing;
  • Digital strategies;
  • Architecture and Physical Space Design; 
  • Reconfiguring manufacturing equipment and processes and incorporating safety measures; 
  • Technology and Software Consulting; and 
  • Legal and Other Professional Services.   

What would not constitute TA is:  

  • Construction and/or Renovation Projects 
  • Working Capital Needs and/or payment for Equipment, Materials or Supplies 
  • Advertising such as print, voice, digital, etc.

The TA provided under this program will allow a business to make significant changes to their business to overcome the impacts of COVID-19.  As an example, a proposal might include free online retail platforms for businesses to expand their ability to sell goods during a stay home order, consulting services to a restaurant on how to redesign a kitchen or dining area for safe operations or increase the profitability of take-out service, marketing assistance to reach new customers, or new product development work to broaden a company’s viability during the crisis.

What businesses are eligible to receive technical assistance?

The funding for the ReVTA program is aimed at assisting Vermont businesses and non-profits.  To be eligible you must be a Vermont entity conducting activities in Vermont.  You may be asked to demonstrate that you operate out of a Vermont property, pay employees who conduct work with Vermont, or have sales and customers in Vermont. Any Vermont-domiciled business impacted by COVID-19, with a recovery path that can be advanced through professional technical assistance, is eligible. Non-profit employers may apply under this program with requirements similar to for-profit applicants.

How does a business participate in the program?
Any for-profit or non-profit business seeking a technical assistance solution to COVID-19 impacts may find more detail on this website. Completed registrations are shared to regional Navigators who will follow up with the business.

How do technical assistance providers participate in the program?
Technical assistance providers must register as vendors. Any for-profit or non-profit technical assistance provider seeking to participate may find more detail and register on this website. A complete vendor registry will be maintained and made available through this web site.

For more information and how to participate please click here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses – State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Click here for the latest guidance available for Vermont businesses.

COVID-19: Information for Employees and Employers – State of Vermont Department of Labor

  • Click here for resources for Employers and other information.
  • Click here for resources for Employees and other information..

Insurance

COVID-19 and Business Income Insurance – State of Vermont Department of Financial Regulation

The Department of Financial Regulation had developed a guidance document to address numerous questions from the business community as it relates to the Coronavirus and Business Income Insurance.  Please click here for more information.

Planning Guides

Disaster Recovery Guide for Business – Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)

The VtSBDC Disaster Recovery Guide for Business contains all the steps small business owners need to take, and all the information one would need to gather post-disaster.  Click here for the Disaster Recovery Guide

Legal

Legal and Benefits Updates for Vermonters  – Vermont’s Legal Help Website
The outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has created changes in the way Vermont courts are operating, changes to public benefits, new financial help, and more. Here we will keep a list of important changes to help Vermonters and community partners.

Click here to be taken to Vermont’s Legal Help Website

Grants

When we hear of grant opportunities, they will be listed on this page. Please check back often, as grants will be added as they are identified.


Teaching Artist Roster

Arts Partnership

Creative Futures Grants

Opens Dec. 2022

Opens spring 2023

Round 1 – opens Sept. 15, 2022
Round 1 – Nov. 1, 2022

People’s Choice Creation Grant Award for Artists in Vermont

The People’s Choice Creation Grant Award is a unique opportunity for artists—and the broader Vermont community—to participate in the highly competitive Creation Grant program, discover new artists across a wide range of artistic disciplines, and vote on which amazing proposal to fund (it will be a challenge)!

Image of Vermont's Art Council The People's Choice Creation Grant logo.

Donor Name: Vermont Arts Council

State: Vermont

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Award

Deadline: 04/03/2023

Size of the Grant: up to $5,000

Details:

Creation Grant applicants choose on their application whether they would like their proposal to also be considered for the People’s Choice. It’s not mandatory! But by choosing to participate in the People’s Choice, you might:

  • Increase your chances of receiving Creation Grant award funding
  • Receive additional exposure of your work
  • Increase your potential for additional support by listing your social payment service or crowdfunding platform for direct donations from the broader community.

How It Works

  • Indicate on your Creation Grant application whether you would like your proposal to be considered for a People’s Choice Award, in addition to the independent panel review.
  • After the independent panel review has concluded, proposals that have been selected to receive a Creation Grant award, along with proposals that have self-selected not to participate in the People’s Choice Award, will be notified. These proposals will not be considered for a People’s Choice Award.
  • If you elect to have your proposal considered for a People’s Choice Award, the information you provide in the special People’s Choice Award section of the application will be the only information featured in the Council’s online Spotlight Gallery for the public to view.
  • Vermont residents, curators, artists, presenters, publishers, and other arts professionals will be invited to view participating proposals on the website and use some of the same grant criteria to cast one vote for their selection of the People’s Choice Award. Participants must be 18 years old or older and be a Vermont resident in order to vote.
  • Once the deadline for voting has passed, votes will be tallied. The proposal with the most votes will receive the Creation Grant People’s Choice Award for the amount requested in the proposal budget (up to the maximum $5,000).

Voters will be asked to use some of the same grant criteria used by the independent review panel, to make their selection in casting their vote, including:

  • Strong technical skill and craft in the execution of the relevant work is demonstrated
  • A combination of aesthetics, technical skill, and delivery is potentially engaging emotionally, intellectually, and/or spiritually
  • Personal voice, vision, and authenticity shows in the proposed work
  • The creative work demonstrates integrity and ethical use of material with specific cultural origins and content
  • The proposed work will potentially reveal something about the world by communicating unique perspective(s) or by inviting the viewer, reader, or audience to question, discover, and/or explore new ideas
  • There is strong potential for public presentation

For more information, visit People’s Choice Creation Grant Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to join the VAAA? Traditional and Contemporary Abenaki Artists must be enrolled in one of the four State Recognized Abenaki Tribes – Elnu, Koasek, Missisquoi, or Nulhegan.

Call to Artists button with link to more information.What are the benefits to belonging to VAAA? VAAA is the official artist registry for Vermont’s recognized Abenaki Tribes. It is a tool that we can use to promote our visual and performing artists. Members of the Association will be listed on the artist registry, have a personal webpage page, and can submit events and shows to our calendar.

Are there any restrictions for VAAA membership?

  • You must create your own finished product. No craft kits. 
  • No mass produced products. Approved crafts people and artists will be added as they are approved.
  • Although artists may make multiples of an item such as ornaments or earrings, each item must be handcrafted individually.
  • If you are turned down, you can reapply.
  • ALL items for sale by must be tagged in compliance with the INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS LAW. No exceptions.
  • Artists must abide by VAAA membership terms and conditions.

How to request a VAAA membership application? Email [email protected] to request a membership form. Please provide your name, contact information, Abenaki Tribal affiliation, and Tribal ID number. After your status as a citizen in a state recognized Abenaki tribe is confirmed, we will send you a membership application packet with more details and directions.

Please prepare to have good quality photos of your craft/art, an artist statement, and biographical information about you as an artist, such as how you learned what you do and where you may have exhibited your artwork.

Who is responsible for jurying new VAAA artists? The VAAA jury is comprised of fours artists, one from each recognized Abenaki Tribe. Two have degrees in fine art, and two are traditional artists. Master Artists and Consultants are also called upon to help jury art within their area of expertise. When a VAAA committee member applies to be juried or is nominated for an award, they must recuse themselves from voting, and a consultant is appointed in their place.

How can I apply to be rejuried into a new category or artistry group? Submit a letter describing your request with 3 to 5 high resolution images of your work and am updated artist statement. Email your request to [email protected]

Opportunities


Vera Longtoe Sheehan smiling and standing in front of a denim Tolba jacket.
Vera Longtoe Sheehan with Tolba denim jacket

Kwai Nidôbak!

I’m often contacted when someone is looking for an artist to fill a position. As a result, VAAA has decided to list opportunities here on our website. You will usually find the posting(s) listed just as the employer or organizer has sent it/them to me. Just click on the link (in blue), if you are interested. Check back often, as you never know when a new opportunity will be listed.

Waolôwzi (Be very well),

Vera Longtoe Sheehan


In partnership with the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), ATALM is launching a dynamic six-month program that will empower, nurture, and celebrate 20 talented Native craft artists.

For the purpose of this program, “craft artist” is defined as artists who create or reproduce handmade objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques such as weaving, pottery, beadwork, needlework, jewelry making, and other forms.

Key Program Features:

  • Funding of $10,000 for each of the 20 chosen artists.
  • Tailored training sessions to enhance business practices, including the production of a business and marketing plan.
  • Access to a wealth of resources, including materials, workshops, and tools.
  • One-on-one coaching from artists with successful careers. Coaches will receive national recognition for their leadership and generosity.
Learn More

Abenaki people and Friends please pass this on to any Abenaki sculptors or muralists that you know who might want to present a proposal to Burlington City Arts for public art at the Burlington International Airport or in the new downtown Burlington City Project. Wouldn’t it be great if Abenaki heritage, history and tradition – and design – were represented as part of these projects?

TWO PUBLIC ART CALLS TO ARTISTS

DEADLINE FOR EACH ONE IS SEPTEMBER 22, 2023


Burlington City Arts

Burlington International Airport Project

Burlington International Airport (BTV) is excited to partner with BCA on a call-to-artists for a new permanent artwork at the airport. The work will be created on a substrate and installed in a second-floor hallway, part of the newly opened TSA area. This installation will celebrate Burlington and Vermont’s ongoing commitment to innovation, equity, and environmental sustainability as well as the stunning natural beauty that defines our region. The deadline for submitting qualifications is September 22, 2023, 11:59 PM EDT. If you have questions, please email Jessica Manley at [email protected].

Learn More and Apply

CityPlace Streetscape Project

CityPlace Streetscape - Burlington.

As part of the ongoing Great Streets Initiative, the CityPlace Streetscape Project seeks to incorporate public art into the streetscape surrounding the new mixed-use facility. This call to artists specifically aims to attract applicants who identify as Black or brown, historically marginalized or disenfranchised individuals, or individuals who may not have had access to traditional arts education and training and are looking to add public art project experience to their portfolio. The deadline for submitting qualifications is September 22, 2023, 11:59 PM EDT. If you have questions, please email Colin Storrs at [email protected].

Learn More and Apply

Vermont Humanities Job Openings

Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with students in front of a schoolbus
Vermont Humanities values equity, curiosity, humility, and bravery. We seek to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning.

Programs Support Specialist: PT/Remote

Programs Support Specialist is an effective and agile position that supports the delivery of Vermont Humanities’ programs. This person ensures accountability with our program partners and funders by fulfilling in a timely manner requests for program materials, payments, illustrative data, and accurate reporting.

The organization is committed to using a diversity, equity, inclusion, and access lens to meet its mission. This position reports to the Director of Programs.

Flex Scheduling/Remote Opportunities

This position is part-time with flexible hours of around 20 hours per week. Most hours can be completed remotely with bi-weekly meetings at the Vermont Humanities office in Montpelier. Computer equipment will be provided to complete this work.

Read the full job description

How to Apply

Send a resumé and cover letter to [email protected]. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.


Donate

People holding hands and doing the Round Dance.

Support the Heart of our Culture: Your Generous Donation Makes a Difference.

Join us in preserving and celebrating the Abenaki culture through your contribution, enabling us to continue our impactful programs, cultural events, educational initiatives, and the creation of new exhibitions. Every donation is a vital investment in the legacy we cherish.

Questions? Please contact Elisa by email [email protected] or call (802) 265-0092.


THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, SUPPORTERS, & PARTNERS

Image of Vermont Humanities logo.
New England Foundation for the Arts logo
Vermont Arts Council logo
Logo
Vermont Department of Health logo.
Abenaki Arts & Education Center Logo
National Park Service Logo
Vermont Folklife logo.

The 2024 Abenaki Heritage Weekend

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the more than 700 visitors who graced us with their presence at the 2023 Abenaki Heritage Weekend. Your enthusiastic participation and unwavering support made this event truly remarkable. We are especially thankful for the presence of citizens from the four Vermont tribes and tribal citizens from Odanak, as your invaluable contributions enhanced the richness of our gathering. Your presence demonstrated the strength of unity and the power of shared heritage. Together, we celebrated the vibrant traditions and ancestral wisdom that continue to shape our communities.

We are so thankful for the ongoing support from our sponsors and partners Vermont Humanities, Vermont Arts Council, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Abenaki Alliance, and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.


When it was held: June 17-18, 2023

Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT 05491

Cost: $0

Directions: Click here for Google Map

About the 2023 Abenaki Heritage Weekend:

On June 17-18, 2023, citizens of the New England Abenaki community gathered at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to celebrate their history and heritage, and the public was invited! Organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, this free event was open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. 

One of the highlights is the Native Arts Marketplace of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, where visitors can talk to artists, watch craft demonstrations, and purchase outstanding beadwork, paintings, jewelry, wampum, woodwork, leatherwork, drums, and other items. 

“The variety and quality of the work created by our Abenaki artists is outstanding,” said Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Executive Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. “Some of our artists create traditional art and some create contemporary art, often inspired by tradition. If you are looking to purchase a special gift or something new for your collection, be sure to visit the Native Arts Marketplace.”

Throughout the weekend there were activities of interest to everyone. The public was advised to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy singing and drumming by the Nulhegan Drum. Children and adults alike enjoyed storytelling by Abenaki author and historian Joseph Bruchac, and songs for the little ones with Francine Poitras Jones. 

Artists in the Arts Marketplace included Michael Descoteaux demonstrating the making of hand drums; Elnu Abenaki Elder Jim Taylor making wampum beads from whelk and quahog shells; and Linda Longtoe Sheehan weaving wampum, an intricate process using the shell beads. On Saturday, the public met basketmaker Kerry Wood. On both Saturday and Sunday, children were invited to visit the “Make and Take” table, where children could make a gift to bring home for Father’s Day.

A new special exhibit, Beyond the Curve: The American Abenaki Covid Experience opened during Heritage Weekend in the Schoolhouse Gallery, and will be on view all season. Artwork and stories by 20 American Abenaki artists illustrate the impact of the pandemic in the Abenaki homeland and the resilience of Abenaki people during troubled times. Meet the curator, Vera Longtoe Sheehan, for a gallery talk. 

Thanks to Vermont Humanities, Vermont Arts Council, and Vermont Department of Health for their sponsorship of the event.


Link for Accessibility information: ? For access questions, contact Elisa [email protected] or (802) 265-0092

For other questions, you may also email Francine at [email protected]


Special Programs that took place at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend:

  • Storytelling by Joe Bruchac
  • Nulhegan Abenaki Drum group
  • Music and Storytelling by Francine Poitras Jones

Artists Featured in the Arts Marketplace


A woman hitting a hand drum with a wolf painted on it.
Paul Rene Tamburro in his workshop.
Three children making games.

#Abenaki #heritage #weekend #VAAA #AbenakiHeritageWeekend #heritageweekend #abenakiheritage

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.

Kchi wliwni / Thank you to our 700+ supporters & visitors at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend 2023.

Kchi Wliwni (A Big Thank You) to our Sponsors

Abenaki Alliance logo with mountains, water, and sun.
Vermont Department of Health logo.
Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op logo.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Vermont Humanities logo.

Abenaki Arts and Education Association logo with dark blue background and a white design with double curves and florets and words that say Sharing Abenaki Educational Resources with Classrooms Across N'dakinna.

Vermont Arts Council logo.
Cabot logo.

PLEASE DONATE NOW TO HELP US KEEP THIS EVENT GOING FOR THE FUTURE

Lisa Ainsworth Plourde

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Image of Lisa Ainsworth Plourde

Lisa Ainsworth Plourde brings a career of 28 years of teaching visual arts with a BA in art education along with her passion for knowledge of the people of N’dakinna. Of Abenaki heritage, she has acquired knowledge through research and interaction with Abenaki elders; a lifelong journey.

Lisa is ardent about bringing to life the traditions and art of the Abenaki people, past and present, and in doing so also bringing a better understanding of this proud and very much alive culture. Lisa’s fine art practice includes graphite, ink and conte crayon drawing and acrylic and watercolor painting.

Her journey of discovery has brought to her a practice of many different traditional art forms, as in native culture, items for everyday living are functional as well as beautiful. Hide and fur, birch bark, feathers, shells, quills, and beads create objects that bring a connection to the environment as well as create a sense of peace. In her teaching of children, Lisa has been successful with replacing traditional materials with ones that are inexpensive and readily found while exhibiting examples of her own made with traditional materials. During this creative process Lisa speaks to all aspects of life, survival, kinship, respect, and a love of all things, while working to dispel the ravages of colonization and stereotype.


Artist Statement

I grew up in southern NH and discovered art at an early age, always knowing that I wanted to be an educator. I was employed by the Goffstown School district for 28 years. During that time, I raised two daughters and took in commissioned artwork in various mediums. Upon early retirement, I moved back to my family’s ancestral homeland of the Northeast Kingdom on Maidstone Lake, in the heart of N’dakinna. Here I have been able to focus on my connection to the land and Alnobak. Exhibits may be in my future; but, currently I feel that educating and showing the children of Vermont about the Abenaki and our art is my contribution.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


Image of acrylic painting of Yosemite National Park.
Acrylic painting of Yosemite National Park
Image of charcoal drawing of Banff by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Charcoal drawing of Banff
Image of watercolor ladyslipper by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Watercolor painting of ladyslipper
Image of cradleboard by Lisa Ainsworth Plourde.
Cradleboard

Affiliations
  • Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation
  • Title 6 Indian Education Instructor
  • NH Artists’ Association
Awards

NH Art Educator of the Year

Artists by Media

***For a list of artists in alphabetical order Click Here***

Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers made by Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Traditional arts are listed on the left of the page and contemporary artforms are listed on the right side. They are listed by media.

Artists are organized by media and skill level*.

See definitions of skill levels below.

Click on the artist’s name to view their profiles, images of their art, artist bios, and artist statements.


*ARTIST SKILL  LEVELS*

MCB = Master Culture Bearers have a superior skill level, mentor emerging artists, exhibit their artwork internationally, and have received awards for their artwork or work with and for the community.

M = Master Artists have practiced their craft for at least 10 years are familiar with the history of their art form.  They have exhibited their work, offer workshops and lectures.

J = Journey Person have practiced and sold their craft for at least 5 years.

Crafts-person (C) = Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

A = Apprentices are in the process of learning their craft.


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 and 2019-2020. 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.

Contact

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

2021

  • Participant in International Center for Transitional Justice workshop on Truth and Accountability 

2020

  • 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

2019

  • 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

2018

  • 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

2017

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

Affiliations

  • 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

Artisan Levels

When artists join VAAA their work is juried and they are classified into one of the following four categories. Artists may also request their artwork be reevaluated annually or after receiving appropriate awards.

Master Culture Bearer (MCB)

Birchbark Moose Call made by Aaron York.
Birchbark Moose Caller made by Aaron York

Master Culture Bearers are few and far between because this distinction requires superior skill level, mentoring Abenaki apprentices, and emerging artists using traditional Abenaki epistemology. They have exhibited their artwork internationally, and have earned awards for their artwork or work with/for the Abenaki community. They have a long-standing record of service to their community, VAAA, and the arts and humanities organizations. Some may also have academic credentials that support their traditional knowledge. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. (Please note that this is a new category.)

Master Artists (M)
Most Master Artists are culture bearers that are bringing traditional arts to the next generation. They must be knowledgeable about the history of their chosen art form, how to harvest and prepare the necessary materials. They have their own style, create original pieces, not replicas. Their work is increasingly original, and they may be increasingly pushing the boundaries of their chosen medium, and they have designed and taught classes and workshops about their medium. Their art is sought after by museums, galleries, and collectors. Master Artists must also be available as a jurist for new artists coming into the category of their art form. Anyone applying for this level must provide a resume of their achievements, photo samples of their work and original pieces to be examined if requested. By this time in their career, they should be well known throughout the region. A journeyman who has been selling their pieces professionally may apply to be juried after ten years. Application does not guarantee designation of a title.

Journeyman (J)

Silver cuffs by Paul Rene Tamburro..
Sterling silver cuffs made by Paul-Rene Tamburro

The minimum requirements to being a Journeyman are to have practiced a craft for at least five years. They have achieved technical proficiency but are still developing their style, and they make professional looking pieces that are of high quality to sell.  Some Journeymen may be beginning to exhibit their works and be thinking about teaching workshops. Apprentices are eligible to apply for this level after three to five year period as an apprentice, but they must show significant growth in their skill and creativity before they apply to be re-juried for this designation or title.

Craftsperson (C)

Craftspeople are can either be self-taught or had some lessons but they are not doing an apprenticeship with a Master Artist. They do not have the technical expertise to be considered for the Journeyman or Master Artist categories.

Apprentice (A)

Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.
Four turtle shell rattles with fur on handles made by Michael Descoteaux.

Apprentices are taking their first step on their journey as an artist. They are in the process of learning about the tools and techniques of their craft. During this stage, their work may appear primitive or inconsistent in quality. Through practice, they are developing proficiency. Some apprentices are studying with VAAA Master Artists while others are learning from other culture bearers. Apprentices can also be self-taught through research, trial, and error. Although apprenticeship typically lasts a few years, they will not automatically move on to the next level. They must request that the VAAA committee required them. If successful they will move on to be a Journeyman and if not they may remain Apprentices for a longer period. Kits may never be used during the jurying process.

Application & Rejurying

Applying to Become a VAAA Juried Artist

Examples of parfleche by Nathan Johnson.
Examples of parfleche

Thank you for your interest in applying to be a juried artisan with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA). Our mission is to promote Vermont’s Indigenous arts and artists, to provide an organized central place to share creative ideas; professional development; and a have a method for the public to find and engage Abenaki artists.

How to request a VAAA application? Email [email protected] to request an application form. Please provide your name, contact information, Abenaki Tribal affiliation, and Tribal ID number. After your status as a citizen in a state-recognized Abenaki tribe is confirmed, we will send you an application packet with more details and directions.

Please prepare to have good-quality photos of your craft/art, an artist statement, and biographical information about yourself as an artist, such as how you learned what you do and where you may have exhibited it.

Who is responsible for jurying new VAAA artists? The VAAA jury is comprised of four artists, one from each recognized Abenaki Tribe. Two have degrees in fine art, and two are traditional artists. Master Artists and Consultants are also called upon to help jury art within their area of expertise. When a VAAA artist applies to be juried or is nominated for an award, they must recuse themselves from voting, and a consultant is appointed in their place.

How can I apply to be rejuried into a new category or artistry group? Submit a letter describing your request with 3 to 5 high-resolution images of your work and an updated artist statement. Email your request to [email protected]

Historic Art

The Historic Indigenous Arts of Vermont and New Hampshire

 By Frederick M. Wiseman Ph.D.

Introduction

When we think of indigenous American craft arts, we immediately think of Navajo rugs and Tahono o’odam (Papago) basketry.  Or perhaps the woodcarvings of the Northwest Coast of North America.  Possibly one of the least recognized historical Native American crafts regions of North America is the Far Northeast, only a few books will mention baskets made by Maine or Canadian Maritime tribes.  However, Vermont and New Hampshire have a vibrant but little known artistic tradition stretching back over 10,000 years.  The oldest artistic works are made of stone, chipped or ground into beautiful but useful tools such as the clean, almost Art Deco-looking lines of Vermont Middle Archaic Period gouges, the tight design of Late Archaic lapidary jewelry, or the evocative rock-carved human face petroglyphs at Bellows Falls.  However, except for stone, and a few pieces of shell, there is little that remains, underground of this rich artistic tradition.  During the So-Called Colonial Era (1609-ca. 1800) the Indigenous Arts of our region are still little understood and seem to resemble those of neighboring tribes.  There are occasional pieces of 18th century quillwork-decorated leather craft or twined basketry residing in museums and private collections illustrating the precise work and artistic flair of the People.  Unfortunately, they are so similar to items made by our Penobscot, Huron and Iroquois neighbors that there has been little effort by art historians to find out what is specific to our region.


Below, are a few examples of older art traditions that have good ties to the VT/NH region and its immediate environs of southern Quebec.  These show a careful choice of material, excellent plotting out the eventual form, and meticulous care in decoration — evidence of a well developed craft tradition that its practitioners were very comfortable with.  Many of our 19th and early 20th-century craft arts seem to have its closest ties to the great multiethnic Indian Village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal, but other traditions especially basketry shows early artistic similarity to Southern New England, while cloth seems more similar to our Wabanaki brethren, showing that our area was a great crossroads of artistic ideas flowing throughout the region.

 Woodcraft

Image of Root club, stylistically similar to the Newport, VT example; early 20th century.
Root club, stylistically similar to the Newport, VT example; early 20th century.

Most Indigenous Vermont and New Hampshire wood craft is very utilitarian, and probably would not be classed as fine or decorative art.  However, some particular forms, such as crooked knives and root clubs have become accepted as valuable craft arts by art historians and critics.  We do see nice examples of these tools that have come from our area, but have a distinct stylistic look.  Root clubs, for example, did not seem to be made and sold in Vermont as tourist items, although very similar looking ones were sold for that purpose at Kahnawake.  These root clubs tend to be carved relatively simply with minimal decoration, usually of fine ink or watercolor delineating bird-like beaks and eyes, rather than the fine carved detailing and painted design demanded by tourist buyers. Instead, we have a documented example that seemed to be used in healing, and another that was used to keep order within a family, indicating that they remained, at least in part, internal cultural implements.

Image of Well designed crooked Knife. Birch Handle, ground-file blade and brass wire wrap. 19th century East side Lake Memphramagog.
Well designed crooked Knife. Birch Handle, ground-file blade and brass wire wrap. 19th century East side Lake Memphramagog.

Another well-designed and executed wooden implement is the crooked knife (often called “basket-knife” in VT).  These distinctive native-design tools seem as rare as root clubs and are almost always entirely utilitarian.  However, one crooked knife with a provenance just north of the Canadian Border in the Southern Eastern Townships of Quebec is finely crafted with beautiful incised and filled detail on the obverse and an artistically sweeping rake to the blade; thereby making a classic pieces of Northeastern Native art.  (Photo to the right)

Image of Twig decoy, Early 20th century, Fitch Bay (east of Lake Memphremogog) QC).
Twig decoy, Early 20th century, Fitch Bay (east of Lake Memphremagog) QC).

In the last 50 years or so decoys have emerged as a great vernacular art tradition, with many fetching many thousands of dollars at auction.  Although there are Vermont decoy carvers with Indigenous heritage their creations are not considered “Indian Art.”  However, a composite twig decoy from the same area as the crooked knife is so similar to the Cree “Tamarack Twig” decoys accepted as legitimate Indian Art that we will list it here.  This is a goose “shadow decoy” constructed of black or river birch twigs and bound with cotton twine.  A Nulhegan band elder remembered their use in middle 20th century cornfields around Lake Memphramagog to attract Canada geese to the shotgun.  When viewed from a distance, the decoy has a wonderful flowing stance, and as the elder said “looks like a goose to another goose..  (Photo to the right)

These few items are only an introduction to the richness of historic Indigenous woodcraft of our region.  Old bowls, spoons, wall-hangings, cups, walking staffs and even furniture remain to this day to grace museums and collections.


Fashion design

Image of Woman's cotton twill dress and red cloth sash ca. 1900 Connecticut River Valley, VT.
Woman’s cotton twill dress and red cloth sash ca. 1900 Connecticut River Valley, VT.

Since the 1970’s, beaded clothing and fashion accessories of our neighbors to the East have become some of the most collected and valuable of any Native American art.  Fortunately, our regional styles have not seen such interest or even study by elite art collectors, and so the materials are still somewhat available and collectable by Indigenous museums and cultural organizations.  I find that some of the late 19th and early 20th century clothing used by basketsellers especially interesting.  It combines European materials such as cloth and ribbons with indigenous motifs to make a distinctive, but underappreciated fashion that I call “cut-cloth Fringe’ style.  We have several examples of this style from the Connecticut River Valley and Lake Champlain which seem to date from the 1890’s to about the beginning of the Great Depression.  The example that I share here is made from a tan twilled cotton with patchwork and ribbon-work detail below the neck and above the hem.  It is sturdy and technically well made, so much so that it is still worn for educational purposes.  (Photo to the right)

Of course everyone wants to know about “Abenaki Beadwork,” and unfortunately, pre-1900 Indigenous Vermont/New Hampshire beaded cloth is the most elusive craft art that remains today.  There is one late 18th/early 19th century beaded moccasin vamp or epaulet that was found in NW Vermont that is in a generalized style that may or may not be Vermont Abenaki, but was at least used here at one point. (Photo below).

Image of Beaded wool panel, Trade wool, silk ribbon, glass beads. Early 19th century, found in Swanton, VT
Beaded wool panel, Trade wool, silk ribbon, glass beads. Early 19th century, found in Swanton, VT
Image of Flat Bag with beadwork. Velvet, cotton liner, glass beads. Mid or late 19th century, probably Abenaki
Flat Bag with beadwork. Velvet, cotton liner, glass beads. Mid or late 19th century, probably Abenaki

Probably a more characteristic style is the mid 19th century “flat bag” or reticule described below.  It has a form related to the typical “tulip” or “inverted keyhole” bag sold by the Eastern Wabanaki people of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  However, the beadwork itself is distinctive and unlike that of the standard Wabanaki to the East, or the Iroquois styles to the west.  Unfortunately, it has not yet attracted interest of collectors, museums and academics, so it is uncertain exactly whether this is a “Montreal Area,” “Eastern Townships (Quebec) area,” “Vermont area” “or “New Hampshire area” style; or all of the above.  However, I believe that it represents the best candidate style for having been produced here in the mid 19th century. (Photo to the right)


Basketry

Image of Early 19th century ash-splint Basket. Vernon, VT.
Early 19th century ash-splint Basket. Vernon, VT.

The one craft art likely to show up in VT/NH antique shops is ash-splint basketry, and there are many styles and types.  I will illustrate two of the older more utilitarian types that were made before the ubiquitous “sweetgrass” and “cowiss” touristic souvenir baskets that are so common today.  Ash splint basket making in VT/NH basically went extinct in the 1930’s.  Baskets after that time seem to be made by expatriate basket sellers from Canada or Maine who sold tourist goods in places such as the White Mountains Intervale or the shores of Lake Champlain. (Photo to the right)

Image of Turn of the 2Oth century ash splint Basket
Turn of the 2Oth century ash splint Basket

The first early type is from the 1830’s and is more closely related to southern New England basketry, in its “varying splint” construction and the use of stamping and or painting on the wide splints as decoration.  it was probably used like a bandbox, for the storage of lightweight household and fashion goods such as yarn or hats.  The second basket, probably from the third quarter of the 19th century, still retains the varying splints, but now shows direct influence of basketry evolution to the East, in its checkerboard (rectangular) base and the treatment of the radiating splints on the lid.  Instead of being stamped, the wider splints are “daub-dyed” or pigment painted only on the outside before weaving the basket.  The later, turn of the 20th century dyed ash splints are dipped in dye and thus show the color both inside and out.  Both of these early basket styles are relatively uncommon in VT/NH and even less common with a good provenance placing them here in the 19th century.  (Photo to the right)

Image of two coiled horsehair baskets made with brown horsehair foundation and black hair ties left, and black horsehair and white hair ties, right. Probably early 20th century. St Albans, VT
Two coiled horsehair baskets made with brown horsehair foundation and black hair ties left, and black horsehair and white hair ties, right. Probably early 20th century. St. Albans, VT

Another important basket type is the coiled basket.  Even more elusive than early beadwork, coiled basketry is only known from two areas in the Northeast, the Passamaquoddies and a single family in Northwestern VT.  These are tiny items, made from carefully selected and prepared horse-hair, similar to the much more well known Thono O’odam tourist wares.  As with most local wares, there is no historical interest in these beautiful tiny baskets, and we await the continuation of this tradition by young members of the VT basket making family.


Interested in Learning more about the Indigenous Art of Vermont?

Wabanaki Beadwork 1850-2000

Late Period (1890-1970) Indian Baskets In Vermont

Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award (LAW)

The LAW award is only available after a thirty-year track record of success as an artist who willingly gives back to the community and has been a mentor to many others. This award is only available by nomination and nomination does not guarantee an award. To date, only one has been presented. The first LAW was awarded in 2014.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Dr. Fred Wiseman – 2014

Fred Wiseman receiving the VAAA Lifetime Achievement Award with Jessee Lawyer and Melody Mackin on stage with him.At the first Vermont Abenaki Artists Association Awards ceremony at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Professor Fred Wiseman was surprised during his filming of the event by being asked to come to the stage from behind the camera. Dr. Wiseman, of Swanton, Vermont, who is retiring from Johnson State College at the end of July, was surprised with a certificate of Lifetime Achievement and the VAAA T-shirt that he had been trying to buy for two days, but with no success.

The Award was presented by his mentoree and VAAA board member Jessee Lawyer of Burlington, VT, with other board members Vera Longtoe Sheehan, of Westminster, VT and Jeanne Kent of Winstead, CT, looking on. The award was not specifically for his achievement in promoting the decorative and performing arts, such as fashion design, wampum (shell bead) art, Indigenous song, dance and oratory, but in his advocacy for recognition by the state of Vermont that its indigenous peoples and their artistic heritage has always been here and needed to be recognized by the state. It was this recognition that permitted Abenaki artists, for the first time to legally sell their creations as Indian art under the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

The Board members and Dr. Wiseman shared some memories of working together as long ago as the mid-1990’s, and their continuing endeavors to assure that Vermont’s Indigenous arts heritage will never disappear. Koasek Abenaki Tribe citizen Cheryl O’Neil, who was at the ceremony, said “it was an amazing event to see Dr Wiseman with some of his oldest friends and former students sharing their joy in the fruits of his more than thirty year of supporting Abenaki culture and history. It was a well-deserved treat for all of us at the Maritime Museum.”


Artist of the Year

Beginning in 2020, as a fan-determined contest to celebrate VAAA artists and promote economic development during the holiday season, the Artist of the Year Award was started. It is also used to publicly thank artists who participated in exhibits during that calendar year. The nominees must be juried members of VAAA for at least one year. Groups are not eligible.

Past Artists of the Year

2020 Amy Hook-Therrien

Image of Amy Hook-Therrien
Amy Hook-Therrien

Amy is a native Vermonter, originally from Chelsea, she grew up nestled on top of a hill overlooking the valleys below. She was surrounded by nature and beauty. She graduated from Randolph Union High School with a passion for art. She went on to college at the University of Maine in Orono majoring in fine art with a focus in sculpture and painting. After graduating with a BFA from UMaine she moved back to Vermont and she and her husband bought a house in Windsor. When she is not creating art Amy loves to travel, hike, garden, and spend time with her family.

Artist Tutorials

The following links for a variety of tutorials are provided to aid our artists in writing important documents such as an Artist’s Statement and an Artist’s Biography. You can also get good information on how to write a resume.

Click on the link:

Artist Statement and Bios. Maryland Institute College of Art


Writing an Effective Artist’s Statement: Some Practical Tips – Claremont Graduate University


Write Your Resume. Illinois Community College: The Career Center


Building Confidence: using your bio & artist statement to talk about your artwork

Artist Information

This page provides links to information about joining the VAAA, such as how to apply, how VAAA artists are juried, our various levels, our awards, and professional development information.

Applying to become a VAAA Artisan or to be rejuried to a higher artisan level

Artisan Levels

Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Juried Artist Benefits

Programs for Professional Development

Resources

If you have questions that are not addressed in these pages, please feel free to Contact Us.

Lance Hodgdon

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki

Juried Artist since 2019
Image of Lance Hodgdon.
Lance Hodgdon

Lance Hodgdon does beautiful work with wood. He specializes in flutes, which have a rich tone that is pleasant to listen to.

He is also a fine woodworker and is chopping blocks are finely made. He does accept special orders.


Email: [email protected]

Facebook Store: Wind Walker’s Native American Flutes


Image of chopping block in shape of state of Maine.
Chopping block made in the shape of the state of Maine.
Image of chopping block made by Lance Garfield.
Beautiful chopping block made with a variety of wood colors.

Melody Mackin

Enrolled Citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Melody Walker with hand drum.
Melody Walker

Melody Mackin is an educator, mom, and artist.  She works at the Atowi Project. She received her master’s degree in History from the University of Vermont in May 2011. Melody has taught at several institutions an adjunct professor, such as Northern Virginia Community College and taught the History of Western Civilization and US History.

Prior to this, she was an adjunct professor at Champlain College through the EHS Division. Before that, she was an adjunct professor at Johnson State College where she taught “Native American Worldview and Spirituality,” “Native American History and Culture,” and “Abenakis and Their Neighbors.” She gives lectures on a variety of topics, including Abenaki history, women’s issues, and Abenaki political history.

She has done ground breaking research on Abenaki Spirituality and is heavily involved in the Abenaki cultural revitalization movement.  She works with museums and lectures in both the K-12 and collegiate level classroom on topics relating to the Eastern Woodlands and indigenous history.

Melody is a traditional finger weaver, photographer, ribbon work, beadworker, and interprets wampum belts.


Artist Statement

I am an Abenaki historian and I am in love with stories. The finished pieces that I create whether it is a beaded bag or a breechclout with ribbon are created with spirit. They tell my story but they also tell the story of my people. In each stitch I think about the hands that have come before me using the same techniques with the same type of materials. Most importantly, I think of the hands that will create the same artifacts in the future and honor the culture that lights the path through time that we all walk. I spend a lot of time teaching Abenaki history and culture but the artifacts that I shape are the physical manifestations of what being Abenaki means to me. They represent pride, generational love, talent, resiliency, and ultimately they tell a story of survival.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]

Image of finger woven sash by Melody Mackin.
Finger woven sash
Image of breechcloths by Melody Mackin.
Breechcloths
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin
Beaded bag with spider & web
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin.
Beaded bag on wool
Image of beaded bag by Melody Makin.
Beaded flower on wool bag trimmed with ribbon

Weaving a thread through the 7 generations, Melody Walker, TEDx Stowe
Melody Walker gives an incredibly powerful and touching insight into rebirth of the Abenaki Elnu tribe. Finding pride in each other and hope for the future, Melody weaves a beautiful talk about finding one’s place in creation and community. 

Exhibits

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. 

Presentations

  • Native History Month Program Coordinator, Champlain College, November 2016. Lectured in Native American Leadership and completed Cultural Awareness Training for Diversity Programmers
  • Affirming Traditions Conference Coordinator, Mt. Norris Boy Scout Reservation, October 22, 2016
  • Camel’s Hump Middle School Lecture/Workshop, Lake Carmi: Abenakis Throughout History and storytelling/drumming workshop over the campfire on September 24, 2016
  • Mount Norris Boy Scout Frontier’s Camp: Full days of arts and crafts workshops for a week long camp June-July 2016
  • Abenaki Heritage Weekend Lecture, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: “Bringing History to Life” on June 27, 2015
  • Chittenden County School System: Personhood Lecture for educators and parents on June 24, 2015
  • Mount Norris Boy Scout Winter Camp: Full day of drumming workshops on March 7, 2015 for students traveling from all over New England
  • Encounter – Vermont Indigenous Culture for the Classroom: Full day lecture on November 9, 2014 for teachers from a variety of schools held at Endeavour School
  • Abenaki Heritage Weekend Presentation: “Haven Project: Seeds of Renewal,” June 28-29, 2014
  • Abenaki Spirituality: Class lecture at Middlebury College on January 21, 2014National Native Seeds School,MA: “Seeds of Renewal,” January 2014
  • Nancy Millette Doucet Memorial Lecture Series Presentations: Various full day lectures twice a semester regarding cultural revitalization topics, 2012-2014
  • Lead Like a Beaver Speaker Series Presentation: “A Shifting of the Glass: Indigenous Perspectives on Leadership,” December 2013
  • Echo Center Harvest Fest: “The House That Raven Built Storytime with Melody Brook” & “Fingerweaving with Melody Brook,” November 29, 2013
  • Champlain College Native American Heritage Month Presentation: “Native American Identity,” November 2013
  • UVM Native American Heritage Month Presentations: “Walking in Two Worlds” and “Rethinking Thanksgiving,” November 2013
  • UVM Continuing Education Diversity Series Presentation: “Identity in the Workplace Through an Abenaki Lens,” May 2013
  • UVM Abenaki Heritage Week Presentation: “Against the Darkness: Indigenous Identity Through the Ages,” April 2012
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program Love the Lake Series: “Abenaki Heritage Center – Haven Project,” February 2012
  • VASS Conference Making Sense of the World: “Haven Project: A Virtual Museum,” December 2011
  • Echo Center Indigenous Summit, Co-Coordinator, November 2011
  • Old Stone House Museum Time Traveler’s/Children’s Camp: “Abenaki History & Culture,” Summer 2009 & 2010
  • Lyndon State College My Story Matters Conference: “Walking in Two Worlds: The Wabanaki Experience,” Keynote speaker, April 2009
  • St. Michael’s College VT Quadricentennial Indigenous Conference, Co-Coordinator, May 2009

Film & Radio

  • Miricle, Irene, “Changeling, AKA Dawnland.” Miricle Girl Productions. 2009. DVD
  • Reger, Deborah. Moccasin Tracks . Recorded February 15, 2013. WGDR 91.1 FM . Web
  • Timrick, Ted. “Before The Lake Was Champlain.” Hidden Landscapes. 2009. DVD
  • Wiseman, Frederick M. Ph D. “1609: The Other Side of History.” 2009. DVD
  • Wertlieb,Mitch. “Interview: El-Nu citizen Melody Walker ” Recorded March 27,2009,  Vermont Public Radio
  • “Vermont Indigenous Celebration: Abenaki Singers – Interview with Abenakis Walker & Melody Brook – Abenaki Dancers, Takara Matthews & Josh Hunt.”  Recorded July, 11, 2009. Channel 17. Web

Awards

  • Cum Laude Honors (undergraduate)
  • ALANA Leadership Award (undergraduate)
  • 2009 Ally of the Year Award from the UVM Greek Community.

Affiliations

  • Atowi Project
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, Vice Chair  (2010-2012 and 2016-2017)
  • Native American Quadricentennial Advisory Committee (2008-2009)
  • WAOLOWZI Minority Health and Wellness Program (2006-2009)
  • Vermont Women’s History Project Steering Committee (2005-2007)
  • Voices Against Violence (2005)

Lori Lambert, PhD, DS

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Dr. Lori Lambert.
Lori Lambert, PhD, DS

Lori Lambert is a scriptwriter, photographer, writer, and researcher. In her spare tine she follows her passion of beading.  She has been beading for over 20 years. She learned her craft from the elders on the Flathead Indian Reservation, especially Rachel Bowers and Edna Finley, and from the great granddaughter of Wooden Legs, a Cheyenne Warrior.

She believes that anyone can learn to bead and that anything can be beaded. It takes patience, and a good sense of what the colors can express. She says, “It is important to have a peaceful heart and calm mind otherwise the work will have bad karma.” At Salish Kootenai College, where she is a professor and the Head of the Native American Studies Department, she has taught students to bead stethoscopes, medallions, dance dresses, and even moccasins. In addition to beading, Lori loves doing research, writing, traveling, and hosting television programs for KSKC-TV. She lives on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana with her husband, Dr. Frank Tyro and their band of sled dogs.

 Artist Statement

Although I enjoyed drawing and writing since I was a child, I never thought of myself as an artist.  To me artists were musicians, painters, dancers and their work was shown in museums or theaters. After I married my husband Frank, I paid more attention to Native cultural arts and took courses in reservation arts at Salish Kootenai College, where I teach.  Many of my friends are amazing bead workers and I continually aspire to their level of perfection.

 I have written and published six books.  They are all on amazon.com.  My latest book is entitled “Research for Indigenous Survival: Indigenous research methodologies in the behavioral sciences.  

 My husband Frank is filmmaker and broadcast engineer. As the scriptwriter, we have collaborated on several projects all of which won various awards from “Best Documentary Short” “Aurora”  “Aurora Platinum.” 

 Over the years I have learned that art is writing, bead working, powwow dancing, and script writing and doesn’t necessarily have to be shown in a museum or a theater. 

My most recent book, Children of the Stars: Indigenous Science Education in a Reservation Classroom was written in coordination with Ed Galindo. It is the story of students and a teacher, courage and hope. Written in a conversational style, it’s an accessible story about students who were supported and educated in culturally relevant ways and so overcame the limitations of an underfunded reservation school to reach great heights.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of beaded keychains by Lori Lambert.
Beaded keychains
Image of beadwork by Dr. Lori Lambert.
Beadwork
Image of detailed beading on dress by Dr. Lori Lambert
Detailed beadwork on dress

 Exhibits

 2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. 

2014

  • All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World –  Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Western Montana Fair: Blue Ribbon for Katiya’s beaded harness
  • Art show at the Sand piper Art Gallery in Polson Montana
  • Salish Kootenai College Art exhibit/ Faculty Art exhibit

 Selected Publications

  •  Lambert, L. (2014). Research for Indigenous survival: Indigenous research methodologies in the behavioral sciences. Pablo: Salish /Kootenai Press
  •  Lambert, L. (2011). Two-Eyed Seeing: Indigenous Methodologies in Psychology. Paper accepted: International Congress for Qualitative Research
  • Lambert, L. (2011). Two-Eyed Seeing: Indigenous Methodologies in Psychology. Paper presented for the Eberhard Wenzel Oration. Australian Health Promotion Association Conference, Cairns, Qld, Australia
  • Lambert, L. (2011). Historical Trauma and Environmental Degradation as Health Disparities for Indigenous People. Keynote paper presented Health Promotion Association of Australia, Cairns, Australia
  •  Lambert, L. & Toby, R. (2009). Gungalu Warrior Dreaming: The biography of Robert Toby senior. Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia (Unpublished Manuscript at the Request of the Family)
  •  Lambert, L (2008). In Our Own Voice: 12 Narratives focusing on culture and health for Grades 8-12. Seattle, WA: University of Washington
  •  Lambert, L.,Wenzel, E. (2007). Issues in Indigenous Health in Critical Issues in Public Health. Ronald Labonte and Judith Greene (Eds). Routledge
  •  Lambert, L. (2005). Paper presented at the Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Conference, Cape Breton, Canada: Distance Education Providing College Courses for Remote Aboriginal students
  •  Lambert, L (2005).Cheyenne Daughter. Bloomington, IL: Authorhouse
  •  Lambert, L & Walsh, C. (2002). Heart of the Salmon, Spirit of the People: Ethnicity, Pollution, and Culture Loss. Bloomington: Author House
  •  Lambert, L.A. (2001). International Union for Health Promotion and Education Journal: Promotion and Education. Vol. viii/2-4. American Indian Partnerships: Historical and contemporary
  • Lambert, L. (2000). Keepers of the Central fire: Issues in Ecology for Indigenous Peoples. New York: National League of Nursing Press
  • Lambert, L. (1996). Through the Northern Looking Glass: Breast Cancer Stories told by Northern Native Women. New York: National League of Nursing Press


Awards & Honors (select list)

2014: Conference Chair: American Indigenous Research Association Conference

2013: Conference Chair: American Indigenous Research Association Conference

2013:

  • Founder and member: American Indigenous Research Association
  • Member: Indigenous Studies Research Network. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Tapestry Institute, Longmont, CO: Board President

2013: The International Women’s Leadership Association: Woman of Outstanding Leadership.

2012: American Indian College Fund Faculty of the Year for Salish Kootenai College

2011: American Indian College Fund Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship Award for Faculty Research

2009 Award: Outstanding Contribution to Distance Learning and Adult Education. The North Carolina State University

2009 Fulbright Scholar: China (6 weeks)

2005: Aurora Award- Platinum Best of Show Cultural Documentary: Lambert, L. & Tyro, F. (2003) Sacred Salmon. Documentary Produced by Salish Kootenai College Media Productions. Frank Tyro, Director, Lori Lambert, Script Writer.2003: Faculty Fellowship Award: United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service 2002: Faculty Development Award: Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences

 2002: Faculty Development Award: Canadian Embassy

 2001: Sloan –C National Award for “Excellence in Asynchronous Teaching”

 2001: Nominated for Outstanding Employee of the Year: Salish Kootenai College

1999: Course Award: Center for Theology and the Natural Science, Berkeley, Calif.: Science and Religion : Environmental Science and Indigenous Religions.1995 American Society for Canadian Studies in the United States: Nominated for the Distinguished Dissertation Award

1996: Canadian Embassy Research Grant

1995 The Union Institute: Nominated for the Sussman Award for Distinguished

Dissertation

1994: Canadian Embassy Graduate Student Fellowship

1988: The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA: Board    Award.

1982: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA: Outstanding Graduate Award.

1980: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA: Outstanding Graduate Award 1980

1979: Gladys Pearlstein Humanitarian Award: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Linda Longtoe Sheehan

Enrolled Citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Linda Longtoe Sheehan.
Linda Longtoe Sheehan

Linda Longtoe Sheehan’s specialty is wampum. She is known affectionately as “Wampum Woman.”  She started making wampum belts over thirty years ago and passed her knowledge onto countless young people.

Linda  makes wampum belts and jewelry from glass beads, mother of pearl and quahog.  Her beadmaking starts with a quahog shell. She cuts it to size and shapes it.  Then she weaves her wampum belts using braintanned leather.

Linda learned brain tanning from Mark Humpel, who hosts an annual braintanning weekend. Unfortunately, due to a disability she can no longer make braintan leather herself so she is passing this tradition on to students. In the winter months, Linda teaches them how to scrape the deer hides; soak them in the braintan solution; stretch and dry the hides; and work them until they are soft. Then she cuts it into long strips. Each hide takes about 50 hours.

She has done demonstrations at museums and historic sites throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States.  Her work was even requested by the Presidents protocol office.


Artist Statement

I have been designing and making wampum belts, wrist bands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for over 30 years;. I work with real Quahog, glass and mother of pearl wampum beads.   My work has been on display at the Institute for American Indian studies and at Johnson Hall  (historic site).

During the winter months,  I also make my own brain tan leather which I use for to weave my belts.  

Although I specialize in wampum,  I also do Traditional finger weaving, eastern center seam moccasins, Quillwork and I twine.

Contact

Address: RR 30 Box 261

Email:  [email protected]

Website: Back To The Moose Robe

 

Image of wampum bracelet made by Linda Longtoe Sheehan.
Wampum bracelet
Image of eagle wampum belt.
Eagle Wampum Belt

Exhibits  (select list)

2009 to present 

Contact of Cultures, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,  VT

2017-2018

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage (traveling exhibit). Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2015

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

2014     

  • Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • All My Relations: Faces and Efficacies from the Native World – Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2013      

  • Featured Artist, Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT
  • Demonstrator. Ft. at # 4, Charleston, NH

Presentations & Demos (select list)

2013      

  • Demonstrator. Ft. at # 4, Charleston, NH
  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

2012      

  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Demonstrator. Ft. at # 4, Charleston, NH
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

2011      

  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Speaking To The Ancestors Abenaki Gathering,  ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT
  • Demonstrator.  Native American Month Presenter. University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

2010     

  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

2009   

  • Vermont Indigenous Celebration.    ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy          Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

2008      

  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

2007     

  • Annual Native American Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Abenaki Encampment, “Jamaica Old Home Days,” Salmon Hole, Jamaica, VT

Film & Radio

  • Reger, Deborah. Moccasin Tracks . Recorded . WGDR 91.1 FM
  • Schulmeisters, Lina L. “Artisan Spotlight: Linda Longtoe.” Askawobi Productions, 2012

Affiliations

Woodland Confederacy

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

  

Lina Longtoe

Enrolled Citizen of the ELNU ABENAKI TRIBE

Juried Artist since 2013

Image of Lina Longtoe.

Lina Longtoe grew up in a family of artists and was exposed to multiple traditional and contemporary artistic disciplines.   As a teenager, she realized so much culture was being lost with the passing of each Elder and sought to record history and traditions from older culture bearers. She began interviewing Elders, Chiefs, and artists. 

Her first documentary “Speaking to the Ancestors” was screened at the Vermont Indigenous Celebration in 2009. The documentary chronicled the growing cycle, history of and usages of traditional tobacco. 

Following the success of her first documentary, Lina created a short film series, which is on permanent exhibit at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. She has expanded her cultural documentation to the digital photography median as well. Lina’s films & photography have been exhibited in the Mid-Atlantic, New England states, and Canada. Lina also finger-weaves and twines.


Artist Statement

Through film, Lina Longtoe seeks to educate both Native and non-Native people alike through innovative shorts and featured length documentaries. Lina has served as the Elnu Abenaki Tribal Documentarian since she was a teenager.

Much of the Abenaki culture and it’s vast traditions are endangered with the passing of each Elder.  Lina strives to record our history at every opportunity.

Her Artisan Spotlight Series and Abenaki Short Film Series are on permanent exhibit at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, located in Vergennes, VT. They have also screened at the American Museum of Natural History, Chimney Point State Historic Site, The Fort at No. 4, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and other sites across New England and Canada.

Lina is inspired by her grandfather who is a Culture Bearer of generations who  were raised to hide and be ashamed of their heritage. She realized the ongoing threat to the continuity of knowledge about their people, crafts, and oral traditions and decided to help preserve her culture.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Askawobi Productions

YouTube: Lina Longtoe Channel

Facebook: facebook.com/askawobi

Twitter:twitter.com/askawobi

Image of movie poster called The Other Harvest.

On Going Exhibits

 2011 – present. Contact of Cultures, “Abenaki Short Film Series”  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2014 – present.   Northeast Woodland Fiber Arts, Mt Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, NH

Limited Engagement Exhibits

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. 

2016

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

2015

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

2014

  • Along the River, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Giona Sezoha G’dakinna: We Paint Our Land, Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH 
  • 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 

2013      

  • Featured Artist at the Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum, Ontairo, Canada
  • Indigenous Fibert Art,  MacDonell-Williamson House, Ontairo, Canada
  • Containers. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

Film Screenings and Presentations

2009 – present    

Abenaki Short Film Series. American Museum of Natural History, NYC, NY

2016  

Abenaki Cultural Weekend. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2012     

  • Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • “Meet the Artist” and film screening, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA

2011    

Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2010    
Presenter, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2009    

  • Film Screening.  “Vermont Indigenous Celebration,” ECHO Lake Aquarium and  Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

In Permanent Collections

  • “Abenaki Short Film Series,” Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Fiber Art Photo Collection,” Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Twined Weaving Photo,” MacDonell-Williamson House, Ontario, Canada

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Kerry R. Wood

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Kerry Wood processing splint for basketmaking.
Kerry Wood processing splint for use in basketmaking.

Kerry Wood/Kalli Abazi is a citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation.  In 2016 she completed a 3 year apprenticeship program with Jeanne Brink through the Vermont Folklife Center Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program for making traditional Black Ash and Sweetgrass baskets. 

Elvine Obomsawin, Kerry’s Great-Grandmother, and her family made and sold baskets to tourists in Vermont in the early to mid-1900’s. Jeanne Brink is also Kerry’s cousin, and hearing the stories from their Obomsawin family heritage while learning basket making brought her past alive! When she is making baskets, she feels a deep connection with those who have gone before her, and is at peace and connected. Her husband helps prepare the ash by harvesting the ash trees and, with their son Aaron, pounds and splits the ash. The family works together to create the materials for baskets from the harvest of the tree to the final project.

Kerry has baskets on display at the Vermont Maritime Museum, The Abenaki display at the Burlington Airport, and at the Bennington Museum. Black Ash and baskets remain a critical aspect of Abenaki culture and heritage. They are part of Ndakinna, our land. Kerry teaches Abenaki people and others the history and craft of Abaznodaka as well as the language of the Abenaki people, Alnôbaôdwa, so the culture and heritage will continue. She is also collaborating with people across Vermont to help combat the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer, which threatens the very existence of the Black Ash trees. Basket making is part of the Abenaki soul and heritage, and it is critical to ensure it is never lost.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Traditional Abenaki Basket
Image of ash and sweetgrass basket.
Ash and sweetgrass basket
Image of ash basket by Kerry R. Wood.
Ash Basket

Demonstrations (as an Apprentice with Master Basketmaker Jeanne Brink)

2016

  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College
  • Vermont History Exposition, Tunbridge, VT

2015

  • Abenaki History Day, Hartford, VT
  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY

2014

  • Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Native American Program, Dartmouth College, NH
  • Vermont History Exposition, Tunbridge, VT

Awards

2013, 2014, 2015 

  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Vermont Folk Life Center. Middlebury, VT

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

June Roberts Wesley

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist
Image of June Roberts Wesley.
June Roberts Wesley

June Roberts Wesley, like many artisans before her,  had an affinity for drawing and painting. No surprise her favorite class in school was Art Class! She had an eclectic interest in many mediums, including silversmithing and painting.  During her high school tenure she began to explore more traditional Native art forms and bought her first beading loom.

She attended her first pow wow at Dartmouth college and was enthralled with a whole new world opening up for her. She was fortunate to have her early work on display at an All Native art show for high school students and one of her drawings was chosen to be the graphics on the pow wow poster for the Dartmouth event.

June has settled into the sewing and designing of dance outfits using applique as her “paint”, creating colorful contemporary powwow dance clothes for dancers all over the US and Canada, including a former Miss Indian World. She also enjoys beading and sequin work. She is currently working on a traditional fully beaded top for a client as well as other custom orders. She is also helping to make a traditional Apache dress for a young lady’s Sunrise Ceremony, a coming of age celebration for Apache girls as they come into womanhood.

June lives in Arizona with her husband Fred in the beautiful Apache homeland enjoys the always dramatic surroundings in the Southwest desert.


Artist Statement

I have always been drawn to color and being able to design and sew powwow dance outfits or bead items for a living is pretty extraordinary!  My mom always encouraged me, even allowing me to paint murals all over my bedroom. ..how cool is that for a little girl? Get me in a fabric store or bead shop and I just get excited at the possibilities…..

I am so grateful to those who enjoy my work and to those who encouraged me through the years, especially my friend Amisa Yellowbird who spent countless hours with me, teaching me new techniques and brainstorming ideas.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of child's regalia by June Roberts Wesley.
Child’s regalia
Image of detail on skirt by June Roberts Wesley.
Detail on wrap skirt
Image of detail of First Nations Women Warriors Dresses by June Roberts Wesley.
Detail of First Nations Women Warriors Dresses
Image of regalia by June Roberts Wesley.
Regalia

Jon Manitouabe8ich

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2015
Image of Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Jon Manitouabe8ich is a well-known graphic artist and musician with a heart for serving the Native community. His creative and unique style of art is sought by many businesses and organizations for designing logos and advertising for marketing campaigns. As a musician, he and his band create a variety of music in many different languages – an artistic approach that causes his music to be appealing to a wide range of interests.

Jon is now working on refining his skills in jewelry-making as well as crafting other types of Native American items. His strong desire to hold to the customs of his family is evident by all he does.

Jon Manitouabe8ich is also a writer. With six books published at Éditions Kizos, the writing work has taken up much of his interest and time. Literary essay, initiatory novel, tales, the collection grows from year to year. You can find the links on his Facebook page.


Artist Statement

I’ve been creating art since I was born. My parents taught me the basic techniques and I quickly develop my own work methods. I studied graphic design in which I hold a diploma. Since then I make my living in art.

In addition to this work, I also create music. In 2007, I founded the music band called Black Lizards. I have a recording studio so I can create music with other amazing artist. In this circle everyone is equal and I refused to take center stage. My vision is that each one of us is a part of a circle and nothing is possible without each other. Our music has no particular style. The songs are written in different languages so that everyone feels comfortable. Since the beginning of the adventure with the Black Lizards, I had the chance to invite several artists to participate to share the same vision of Love, Compassion and Gratitude.

The earth is loaned to us and we need to improve it as a legacy to our children. It is only trough the transmission of values such as respect for others that we will find balance in this world so that we may live in harmony. These values that we teach others must come from within ourselves.

Image of graphic design poster by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of Red Urban Project logo by Jon Manitouabe8ich .
Red Urban Project logo
Image of Logo created by Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Books

Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.
Image of book by Jon Manitouabe8ich.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.soundcloud.com/black-lizards

Facebook: www.facebook.com/blacklizardsofficial    

www.facebook.com/manitouabe8ichart

John Hunt

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Image of John Hunt.

John Hunt grew up in the farm country of Vermont. When he was young, his father would tell him about his native heritage and about how their ancestors had lived. John enjoyed imaging how it was long, long ago as well as how his grandfathers lived more recently. He saw how life used to be made up of your own two hands. Whether it was tools needed for farming or hunting or things you would need around the house like bowls and baskets it all had to be made by someone’s skilled hands.

This inspired John to have a relationship to life like his family had always had. To know how to make what he needed from the land around him. When he looked back at many of the tools of our ancestors, he saw they were created not only to be functional but beautiful as well. He was inspired by that way of being and has chosen to live his life in that way. Though he has tried and practiced many art forms, he has focused most on carving, basketry, and pyrography.


ARTIST STATEMENT

I have been creating art since I was a child, but since the age of 18, it has become a very strong focus in my life.  Though I have never had one primary teacher, I have learned through many people over the years as well as through my own personal practice.

Carving: For my carving, I use many types of wood. For kitchen utensils, I like to use a hardwood like black walnut,

Image of gourd bowls with corn.
Gourd bowls with corn made by John Hunt

black cherry, apple, maple, etc. and for more figure/ sculpture carving I use soft woods like white pine or cedar.

Basketmaking: My family members were basket makers that sold their wares around northern VT. However, there is no longer anyone in my direct family practicing this art, so I have sought out many different teachers over the years. Though I haven’t formally studied with anyone, I have spent time with many different basket makers around Vermont. I primarily make bark and willow baskets. For the willow, I gather from a few locations by my home that grows nice long rods, and I tend these patches. For my bark baskets, I prefer pine, and I keep my eye out for trees that have fallen over during the winter and peel their bark in the spring.

To create my art, I use modern hand tools. However, I gather all of my materials from the natural world. My art is an expressive outlet for me and a connection to my ancestors. I really enjoy making things that have a function as a spoon but going beyond function and giving it a unique beauty. I find inspiration for my crafts in nature around me. I try to have my crafts showcase and lead to the innate majesty of the plants, animals, and elements.

Pyrography: Over the last several years, I have studied traditional Wabanaki designs and the images I see in nature. From these studies, I create my designs. I grow the gourds that I use and gather soft woods for my pyrography.

Image of spruce and bark baskets.
Spruce and bark baskets made by John
Image of cranberry and skunk bean necklace
Handmade true Vermont cranberry and skunk bean necklace
Image of handmade wooden spoons.
Handmade wooden spoons

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS

Currently
Part of the permanent collection of Abenaki Cultural items at the Burlington International Airport, Vermont.

2017
Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

AFFILIATIONS

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Jim Taylor

Enrolled Citizen of the ELNU ABENAKI TRIBE

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Jim Taylor.
Jim Taylor – Photo courtesy of Adam Sings in the Timber

I am a Tribal Councilman and citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Southern Vermont which recently was granted State Recognition after years of battling with both the State & Federal Governments. I also descend from the Eastern Cherokee my Fathers people who reside in Kentucky.

Artist, Eastern Quillworker, & Wampum, I have been involved with various art forms since I was a small child, with the help from my recently deceased maternal Aunt she fostered the talent the Creator blessed us both with.

I am currently employed as a Graphic Designer designing Police, Fire, Federal, & International Law Enforcement badges; for past 28 years.

I currently reside in Rhode Island with my wife Claudine and two daughters, Ashley age 22 and Jillian age 16 along with our Golden Retriever Abby. My Tribal duties in Vermont do take me away from home many weekends throughout the year which my wife is very understanding. The many reasons are is it’s what’s needed to build a better future for the next 7 generations of my people; I thank her and my 2 girls for their patience and understanding.

I have been doing Eastern style quillwork for the past 26 years along with other various native related beadwork and crafts and most recently learning how to create wampum beads from quahog & whelk shells. My quill work began when I became more involved with Living History/ Native Interpreting at French & Indian Living History events. The Abenaki played an important role as Allies with the French during that period. As I became more proficient, my quillwork became more sought after by other Living History people as well as other Native people.

My quillwork has been featured in numerous articles and magazines & books; also my work has been displayed in the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art in San Diego, CA, and currently I have an Underwater Panther bag on permanent display in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, NY. My work has also have been in various local Art shows in RI as well.

I hope to continue doing quill work and to become more proficient in the wampum bead work as well, my hope is to pass this onto future generations of youth within my tribe along with possibly getting future grants to allow me to travel west to Washington State to share how to do quillwork and wampum making with Native Artists in the Communities there with the hope of learning some of their traditional crafts like Cedar Hat making and Cedar carving to share with my tribe Elnu and others here on the East Coast.


Future work:

I am currently trying to organize a Multi-Eastern Tribal Canoe Journey on the Connecticut River beginning at its head waters in Canada to where it spills out into Long Island Sound. This Journey will be mirrored to the same one held annually out west in Washington by the Salish Coastal peoples. My hope is that this will be a Journey to inspire our youth to make them stronger physically, mentally as well as spiritually; this will be a journey for ALL ages. We along with others here in New England hope to have a smaller version to start with by sometime next year; I urge all eastern peoples / Tribes to contact us if they are interested in being part of this hopefully Annual event. We can be reached via Facebook at Kwinitekw Canoe Journey https://www.facebook.com/groups/248209231873305/ or my Email at [email protected]

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Quillwork by Swift Fox

Image of quillwork detail on bag by Jim Taylor.
Detailed quillwork on bag
Image of carved bone combs made by Jim Taylor.
Carved bone combs
Image of quilled knife sheath and bag.
Quilled knife sheath and bag
Image of wampum pendant.
Wampum Pendant

 Exhibits

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2016

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

2015

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

2014     

  • First Light: Native American Artists from New England, The Flanagan Campus Art Gallery, RI
  • 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

2013      

Like Breathing: Native American Beading and Quillwork.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum,  Warner, NH

2012     

Quilled Underwater Panther Bag.  American Museum of Natural History, NYC, NY  

2000      

Arrow of the Spirit. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA

Publications

  • Jones, Paul R.  “Quillworkers 2: The Tradition Continues.” Muzzleloader, Nov/Dec 1999, 40
  • Dubin, Lois Sherr.  North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to Present Concise Edition, Harry N Abrams Incorporated, NYC, NY. 2003. 71

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Woodland Confederacy

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.

Contact

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

Exhibits

2016

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

2015

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

2014     

  • 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.

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Committee Member since 2013

Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Jeanne Morningstar Kent.
Jeanne Morningstar Kent

Jeanne Kent was named Spozowialakws (Morningstar) by an Abenaki Elder many years ago. It means: “One who leads others out of the darkness into the light…a teacher.”

She is an enrolled citizen of the  Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation of Vermont, and also descended from Nipissing, Montagnais, and Algonquin People from the Quebec area of Canada.  Her father was French and Indian; her mother was German.  Her art work contains Native American symbols and designs of the Northeast Woodland People with a focus on the Wabanaki group.  Her medium is gourd art.  Currently, she is working on a series of gourd designs which she hopes will provide a visual language for the woodland people.

“There is something wonderful about putting one’s hands into the soil to plant the seed, nurturing it until the blossoms form, then protecting them until they develop into natural canvases upon which to work my art, ” she said.  “Working with gourds is a combination of my art and heritage bound together in a spiritual journey with Mother Earth.”

Image of Morningstar's studio.

She has received both state and national awards and participated in one man shows, and group shows through out CT, NY, NH, and MA. Her work has sold internationally via her website. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master in Art Education from the University of Hartford.  Additional courses were taken at Johnson College, VT; Smith College, MA; Trinity College and Yale Campuses, CT, and the Woodstock School of  Art, NY.  She taught art in public schools for twenty years transversing levels from kindergarten to college.  As teacher and artist, she has given in-services on Native crafts and history, to educators, acted as a mentor for student teachers,  and offered courses at the University of Hartford Extension Service.

Morningstar serves as an interpreter at the Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT, where she has also lectured and given workshops. One of her gourd rattles is part of their permanent collection. Other permanent collections containing her work are the Chimney Point Museum (VT) and the Roger Williams University (RI). Many pieces are in private collections.

“I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil,” she said.  “Once I made a mark, I never stopped experimenting.”

Her work has been shown at the Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden (NH), the Artworks Gallery, (CT), McDaniels-Wiley Gallery, (CT), the Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College(CT) and the Bushnell Theater Gallery (CT). She was invited to participate in an invitational group show in Boxboro (MA) at the New England Native American Institute which hosted the show: “Walking Between Two Worlds.”  She currently shows her work at the Autumn Light Gallery in Avon, CT.

She recently offered lectures and workshops at the Institute for Native American Studies, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the University of Connecticut, the Naugatuck Community College, the ECHO Maritime Museum (VT) and numerous social groups.

Affiliations include the Institute for American Indian Studies, (CT), the American Gourd Society,   the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the French Genealogy Library (CT).

“Although I am continuously walking between two worlds, I consider myself fortunate for having found a balance between my ancestral cultures.”
                     
— Spozowialakws (Morningstar)


Image of gourd artwork by Jeanne Morningstar Kent
Gourd artwork
Gourd rattle with double curve designs.
Gourd rattle
Image of gourd with double curve design and butterfly.
Gourd with double curve design and butterfly
Image of gourd with dreamcatcher.
Image of gourd with dreamcatcher and deer antlers

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Website: Fine Wabanaki Art by Morningstar


MUSEUMS AND PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

The artist is a recognized Abenaki Artist and enrolled Member of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation of Vermont with work housed in the following permanent collections:

  • Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian Studies, imagiNATIONS Activity Center, New York, New York
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT
  • Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH, Permanent Collection
  • Institute for American Indian Studies Permanent Collection, Washington, CT
  • Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island
  • Chimney Point Museum, Addison, VT, Permanent Collection
  • Part of the permanent collection of Abenaki Cultural items at the Burlington International Airport, Vermont.

Exhibits, Lectures and Demonstrations

2021

  • “Abenaki People Emerging From the Ashes”, show and sale, Villages Gallery, Contoocook, NH
  • Group Show, Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT
  • On line presentation on The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art for the Institute for American Indian Studies
  • Video Interview by Museum of American Indian Studies. 2021-Installed as Member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for American Indian Studies
  • Installed as Member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for American Indian Studies

2020

  • Featured on Mt. Kearsarge Indian museum Blog “Being Native is Both Inborn and a Way of Life”

2019

  • Group show office of Bernie Sanders, Washington, DC
  • Selected by Institute of American Indian Studies to have painted portrait added to their Hall of Elders
  • Spring and Winter Shows at the Whiting Mills Studios, Winsted, CT
  • Board Member of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2016

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

2015

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

2014     

  • “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.

2013    

  • Containers.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  •  Reading Native Art. Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  •  Artist.  Autumn Light Studios And Gallery, CT
  •  New England Now!: Celebrating six years of NEFA’s Native Arts
  • Program. Mashantucket Pequot Museum,  Mashantucket, CT
  •  Presenter.  Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, CT
  •  Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT
  •  Panelist. “Quarterly Conversation.”  Mashantucket Pequot Museum,  Mashantucket, CT

2012    

Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2011    

Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2010    

  • Featured Artist. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington, CT
  •  Artist. Northwest Arts Council, Studio Tours, CT
  •   Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT

2009     

  • Native Interpreter. Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington. CT
  •  Gourds: Seeds of Inspiration. Vermont Indigenous Celebration, Burlington, VT

EARLIER Group Shows

  • Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, NH Group Show, Artworks Gallery, CT Group Show, Arlene
  • McDaniels Gallery, CT
  • Bushnell Theater Gallery, CT
  • Gallows Book Store and Gallery at Trinity College, CT
  • “Walking Between Two Worlds”, Boxboro, MA, hosted by the New England Native American Institute – Shown at Autumn Light Gallery, CT
  • NW Arts Council, Studio Tour, Winsted, CT ArtZest, Litchfield, CT

Other Accomplishments

  • Vendor: Wabanaki Confederacy Conference, Shelbourne, VT
  • 2015 Recipient of NEFA Grant for work on book, The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art
  • Classroom Art Instructor, Hartford School System, Pre-K-8 University of Hartford Extension Courses, Hartford, CT
  • H.O.T. (Higher Order of Thinking) School Consortium, UConn, Campus UConn Workshop, Main Campus
  • Torrington Adult Education, Torrington High school, Torrington,
  • Workshops and talks at Institute for American Indian Studies, Master Teacher-Supervising Student Teachers
  • Master Teacher- Supervising High school Students in Community Service
  • Presenter at the 46th Algonquian Conference, Mohegan Sun,
  • Presenter: ECHO Museum, Burlington, VT
  • Presenter: Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT
  • Presenter: Ward Hertmann House Museum, Savin Rock, West Haven,
  • CT Village Docent, Institute for American Indian Studies, Washington
  • Open Your Eyes, Studio Tour, Litchfield, CT

EDUCATION

  • Presenter at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT. University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT B.F.A. and M.A., Ed.
  • Additional Coursework: Johnson State College, VT
  • Smith College, Amherst, MA
  • Northwest Community College, Winsted, CT
  • Woodstock School of Art, Woodstock, NY
  • School of Fine Arts and Theater, NY, NY

Article: Indigenous Arts, Cultural Survival Quarterly

CRAFTS

  • Chimney Point Museum, VT
  • ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center , Burlington, VT
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Show
  • VT Indigenous Celebration, Burlington, VT
  • Hammonassett Indian Festivals

AWARDS

2O12  Native Arts Grant. New England Foundation for the Arts.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Author of “The Visual Language of Wabanaki Arts”, published by History/Acadia Press, which discusses history and meanings of some of the designs used by the Wabanaki people.
  • Kent, Jeanne.  Gourds: Seeds of Inspiration,  Jeanne Kent publication, Winsted, CT (out of print)
  • Lavin, Lucienne, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Cultures. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 2O13.
  • Photos of my work included in “Connecticut’s Indigenous People, Their Communities and Cultures, Then and Now” by Lucienne Lavin. Published by Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and Yale Press.

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artist Association, Committee Member
  • Institute for American Indian Studies, Native Advisory Board, Committee Member
  • American Gourd Society
  • Northwest Connecticut Arts Council

Frederick M. Wiseman, P.h.D.

Enrolled Citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Juried Artist since 2013
Dr. Fred Wiseman smiling.

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.


Artist Statement

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.


Contact

Email: [email protected]

Image of graphic design by Dr. Wiseman.
Frederick Wiseman, Graphic Designer, 2013

Exhibit, event  and performance history: 

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

1995 

  • “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.

1996 

  • “Light from the Dawnland”  San Diego Museum of Man.  San Diego, CA. Jewelry and wood

       sculpture.

1998- 2008 Abenaki Tribal museum, Swanton, VT (All museum installations)

1999 The Great Council Fire Performance. The Akwesasne Cultural Center (NY)

2001 

  • “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.)

2005   

  • 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

2007 

  • “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.)

2010

  • 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

2013   

  • “1609:the other side of history.” Screened at the Swanton 250th Anniversary
  •  “Dinner and a Movie” Program. Swanton, VT, April 28, 2013

2014     

  • 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.

2015

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

2016

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


Publications 

1987  

  • 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

Jan.1991  

  • “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

1994  

  • 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 

1995   

  • 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.

1997     

  • 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.

2003    

  • “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
2005   
  • 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

2008    

  • “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)

2009     

  • 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

2010     

  • 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) 

2011   

  • ____ and Melody Walker. The Abenakis and their Neighbors: Teachers and Interpreters resources. Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Montpelier, VT.

2012   

  •  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

Awards:

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

2010       

  • Appreciation Ceremony. Missisquoi Abenaki Swanton, VT
  • Silver Astrolabe Award Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission

2011       Appreciation Ceremony. Missisquoi Abenaki Swanton, VT.

2012      

  • Elnu Tribe Honor Ceremony Recipient of Gratitude. Basin Harbor, VT
  • Nulhegan Band Honor Ceremony. Basin Harbor VT

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Francine Poitras Jones

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Francine Poitras Jones

Francine Poitras Jones has been an artist from the time she held her first crayon. She was never satisfied with just staying within the lines; she enjoyed shading and blending colors. Francine started painting with oils at the age of 21. She took a short course in art through a program offered by the city. From there, she discovered acrylic paints and enjoys adding bark, sand, twigs, shells, and other “found” items to her paintings.

Francine is also the illustrator of two children’s books. She collaborated with Brian Chenevert to illustrate a coloring book, Abenaki Animals and most recently, they have collaborated again on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game, which is available on Amazon.

She retired from a career in marketing and copy editing to pursue a second career substitute teaching grades K through 5. She also presents Abenaki educational programs. Her artwork is featured in Abenaki curriculum materials, exhibitions, and is used for illustrating books. As well, Francine is currently an educator for the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.

Artist Statement

Like so many other native artists, my favorite subjects are from nature, and my paintings show my passion for Mother Earth. I have drawn and painted almost as long as I can remember. Being able to express my heritage through art is a real gift from Creator.

I especially enjoy painting on wood. I like to frame my work using twigs and other items from nature, including leather. I enjoy working with leather and make pouches, fashioning them from the way the piece of leather looks and letting my imagination run wild.

Image of Doris Mayne in her regalia.
Doris Mayne in her regalia.

In addition to painting and making leather pouches, I make regalia. In 2014, I made my mother’s first regalia from her head (headband) to her toes (beaded moccasins), including her dance fan, dress, and shawl. She was 86 years old at the time and had never danced in the circle because she had never been allowed to express her identity as an Abenaki woman. She crossed over in 2021 just two days before her 94th birthday. I am so happy that she had a chance to dance in the circle and show the world who she was. It will always be one of my fondest memories.

 Contact

Email: [email protected]

Etsy Store: BlueWolfCrafts

Acrylic painting of a water scene with many shades of blues and greens.
Water is Life
Image of wave painted with pastels by Francine Poitras Jones.
Crashing Wave
Image of beaded moccasins and peaked cap made by Francine Poitras Jones
Beaded Moccasins and peaked cap
Image of beaded Possibles Bag by Francine Poitras Jones.
Beaded Possibles Bag
Image of 18th Century Abenaki Couple painted by Francine Poitras Jones.
18th Century Abenaki Couple
Image of wall hanging by Francine Poitras Jones.
Great Blue Heron wall hanging

 


Exhibits

2021

  • “Abenaki People Emerging From the Ashes”, show and sale, Two Villages Art Society: Gallery, Contoocook, NH
  • Group Show, Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT
  • Nebizun: Water is Life, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT
  • Perquiman Art League Gallery, Hertford, NC

2017-2020

  • Burlington International Airport – Abenaki Exhibit
  • Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  • Perquiman Art League Gallery, Hertford, NC

2019

  • Group show office of Bernie Sanders, Washington, DC
  • Nebizun: Water is Life, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT
  • Babaskwahomwôgan: The Spirit Game. Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

2016

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

2015

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

2014

All of my Relations: Faces and Effigies from the Native World –  Invitational Group Art Exhibit.  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH

2010 – 2011

Friday Night at the Arts, Petersburg Regional Art Center, Petersburg, VA

Available for Purchase

Etsy Shop: BlueWolfCrafts

Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Abenaki Arts and Education Center
  • Perquimans Art League in North Carolina

Don Stevens

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2013
Image of Chief Don Stevens in regalia.

Chief Don Stevens is an award-winning leader, businessman, writer, and lecturer. He has been featured in magazines, books, TV shows, and documentaries. He was appointed to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs by Governor Douglas in 2006 for two terms, where he served as Chair and led the fight to obtain legal recognition for the Abenaki People in Vermont. Chief Stevens was able to acquire tribal land for the Nulhegan Tribe which had been absent for over 200 years. A gifted storyteller, he speaks about issues of Native American Sovereignty, Racial Disparity, and Abenaki Identity.

He was appointed by the Attorney General to the “Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems Advisory Panel” and serves on the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Advisory Panel and Vermont State Police Fairness and Diversity Advisory Panel.

Contact

Address: 156 Bacon Drive

Shelburne VT  04582

Email: [email protected]

Image of breast plate made by Chief Don Stevens.
Breast Plate
Image of Raccoon Bag made by Chief Don Stevens.
Raccoon Bag

Exhibits

2017 – 2018

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2014     

Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions – Invitational Group Art Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

Events and Performances

2013 – 2018    

Native American Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT

Nulheganaki, Island Pond, VT

2012     

Native American Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

Nulheganaki, Island Pond, VT

2011    

Native American Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

Speaking To The Ancestors Abenaki Gathering.  ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

2010     

Native American Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

Winter Celebration. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

2009    

Vermont Indigenous Celebration.  ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Diane Stevens

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist
Image of Diane Stevens

My Love for nature photography was a natural progression of my love for travel.  A friend of mine joined the Peace Corps and encouraged me to join her for a two-week adventure in Namibia and Zambia, Africa.  Thus began an incredible photographic journey.  Vermont’s abundant wild life and beauty have enable me to hone my craft. 

Hiking and back water kayaking have led to incredible, yet at times challenging, photographic opportunities. Continued travels in New England, Florida, and Peru have expanded my appreciation of all nature has to offer. I recently won best in color at the Seaba Artists Exhibit.


Contact

Email: [email protected]

Store: Diane Stevens Photography

Image of Camels Hump.
Camel’s Hump
Peruvian love birds in vibrant colors by Diane Stevens.
Love Birds in Peru
Monkey staring at the camera - taken by Diane Stevens.
Peruvian Monkey

Exhibits

2016 to present

Indefinite Exhibit at Trinity Church in Shelburne, Vermont 

2017

Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage. Traveling Exhibit. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2016

Solo photography show at Charlotte Senior Center . Charlotte, VT.

SEABA (Arts Alive) photography exhibit at One Main Street, Burlington, Vt

Documentary

2015

Photos utilized in Wabanaki Confederacy Documentary

Awards

 2017

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Best in Color for Nature’s Pallet. Annual Open Photography Exhibit . Arts Alive.

Billie Jo Garfield

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki

Juried Artist since 2016

Image of Billie Jo Garfield

Billie Jo is an avid seamstress who enjoys making regalia. She is known in her community as a seamstress who makes dresses and skirts, ribbon shirts, shawls, leggings, and even traditional coats.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected] 


Image of Ribbon Dress, Shawl and Leggings.
Ribbon Dress, Shawl, and Leggings
Image of ribbon shirt.
Ribbon shirt
Image of Cherokee-style tear dress.
Cherokee-style tear dress

Art Markets

2016

Annual Native American Weekend/Abenaki Heritage Celebration, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,  VT

2015

Wabanaki Confederacy Conference, Shelburne, VT.

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Bill Gould

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014

Image of Bill and Sherry Gould
Bill and Sherry Gould

Bill Gould lives in Warner, NH with his wife Sherry. They were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Together they raised their two daughters in Warner. Bill is a lumberman by trade. They celebrate their Abenaki heritage and love making beautiful baskets.

Together Sherry and Bill studied utilitarian Abenaki basket-making in 2006 under master artist Newt Washburn of Bethlehem, NH. Bill has taught Steve Lewko Abenaki utility basket making for two years through an award from the NH Arts Council, Traditional Arts program.

In 2011 Bill, together with Jesse Lacquer started the NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance. Bill and his wife, Sherry, work to maintain basketmaking as part of Abenaki culture through teaching other Abenaki through the traditional arts programs in New Hampshire and Vermont.

 Artist Statement

I like to make baskets. My life and livelihood revolves around wood. Basket making ties my love of wood to my Native American heritage. I got started back when my wife needed molds and tools to make her baskets. Eventually, I worked with Newt Washburn; I learned to identify brown ash trees, cut them, pound them and prepare the wood into strips for splints and weavers or handles or rims.

I love working with a crooked knife; it allows me to feel the wood. Newt taught me to try different methods and do what works best for me. I like a certain method of joining my swing handles; instead of using a small brass nail, I weave a tail of the wood through itself. I think that works good. It is especially rewarding for me to hold a finished basket in my hands, knowing that I have made good choices about using the right pieces of wood and preparing them with skill.

In my daily work, I harvest trees, saw them into boards, provide slabs for boiling sap to syrup, provide lumber to build things like houses or furniture, renovate my home and heat my house with it. Basket making requires no modern technology to create something visually pleasing that is as functional today as it was 200 years ago. I want to do my part to preserve this timeless culture. When people see my basket, I’d like them to see its art form and to see themselves using it.

Contact Info

Note: The Goulds do not have a store; however, they will accept custom orders.

Email:  [email protected]

Image of Toboggan made of Ash, Cherry, & Birdseye Maple
Toboggan made of Ash, Cherry, & Birdseye Maple by Bill Gould
Image of Lamp Shade Basket made by Bill Gould.
Lamp Shade Basket
Image of Fish Creel with Leather Straps made by Bill Gould.
Fish Creel with Leather Straps
Image of bicycle basket made by Bill Gould.
Bicycle basket

 


Demonstrations

 2013

  • Discovering Your Native American Roots, Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsboro, NH
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH
  •  Lee Farm Fiber Festival  

2012     

  • Nulheganaki. Island Pond, VT
  • Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Harvest Moon Festival,  Warner, NH

 2011 

  • “New Hampshire Open Doors”
  •  Harvest Moon Festival,  Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Warner, NH
  • Town of Holderness 250th Celebration, Holderness, NH
  • The Hillsboro Historical Society., Hilsboro, NH
  • Franklin Pierce Homestead,  ,NH

2010   

Cornish Fair, Cornish, NH

2009    

League Of NH Craftsmen Fair

2008

Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY


Exhibits

2014     

  • “Traditional Sources, Contemporary Visions” – Invitational Group Art Exhibit
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2011     

Basket Trail, Warner Historical Society, Warner, NH.

2010     

  • Baskets and Boxes, Gallery 205, LNHC, Concord, NH
  • New England-Based Indigenous Artists, Diamond Library, UNH, Durham, NH
  • Walking with Us – Honoring the Northeast Native American Heritage, Mill Brook 

Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH.

2009     

  • Tomorrow’s Masters, Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH
  • First People of the Northeast, Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord, NH

2007

Gallery 205, League of New Hampshire Craftsman (LNHC), Concord, NH.

Consultations

  •  “Abenaki Basket Trail” Organizing consultant, sponsored by Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Hopkinton Historical Society, Newbury Historical Society, Warner Historical Society, New Hampshire Historical Society (2009-2011)
  •  “Hillsboro, NH Living History Event” Implementing a Native American component to this annual event. For 2011 funding from the NH Council on the Arts paid three Native American artists to present. For 2012 historic presentation of an early 19th century Abenaki basket maker tourist camp with sales will be integrated to the program on Jones Road. (2010 – present)
  • “Holderness 250th Anniversary” Arranged Native American artisians to demonstrate beadwork, basketmaking and flute making. Also a woods walk, “The Feast at our Feet” (2011)

 Awards

  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2012
  • Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant NH Council on the Arts, Steve Lewko intern, Warner, NH, 2013

Affiliations

  • NH/VT Abenaki Basketmakers Alliance
  • League of New Hampshire Craftsman (2009-present)
  • Northeast Basket Makers Guild (2010-present)
  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Amy Hook-Therrien

Enrolled Citizen of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2014
Image of Amy Hook-Therrien

Amy Hook-Therrien has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maine. She has been painting for almost ten years. She specializes in water colors and is inspired by nature. Amy is also a Traditional Abenaki singer.

Artist Statement

I love to paint natural things, it could be a flower, a landscape, or a topographical map. I try to segment my pieces, painting and focusing on small areas at a time. I love to mix my colors in a way that they tend to separate slightly, giving the paintings texture.


Contact Email: [email protected]
Individual Exhibition
2020 – Art, Etc. – Northfield, VT – June Exhibit – June

2020 – Barre Opera House – Barre, VT – March

2020 – New London Hospital – Chapel Hallway – New London, NH – January -March

2019 – Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center – Fifth Floor Rotunda – Lebanon, NH – October – December

2019 – Yester House Solo Shows – Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT

2019 – Emerging Artist Show – Littles – Long River Gallery, White River Jct., VT

2019 – Solo Exhibition – Vermont Institute of Natural Science – Quechee, VT


Awards

2020 Overall Favorite & Most Technically Accomplished – Spring No. 3 “Wild About Watercolor” Exhibition – Matt Brown Fine Art

2019 Vermont Artists Association – Artist of the Year

Image of magazine cover with Amy Hook-Therrien

Publications

  • 2021 – Image Magazine – “Inspired by Nature – Artist Amy Hook-Therrien – Mountainview Publishers – Spring 2021
  • 2021 – No. 2 Homebound Still – Korongo Books
  • 2020 – Vermont Almanac – Volume 1 – Corn Sketch
  • 2019 – My Parents Told Me to Study Art – Korongo Books – October, 2019


Group Exhibitions

2021 – “Let Us Introduce You” – Bryan Memorial Art Gallery, Jeffersonville, VT – Sept – Nov

2021 – “Exploring Earth” – Spruce Peak Arts – Stowe, VT – June – October

2021 – “Alnobak Moskijik Maahlakwsikok – Abenaki People Emerging from the Ashes – Two Villages Art Society – Contoocook, NH – May 7 – May 28

2020-2021 – Matt Brown Fine Art Holiday Exhibition – Lyme, NH – November – January

2020 – AVA Holiday Exhibition – AVA Gallery – Lebanon, NH – November – December

2020 – “Wild About Watercolor” – Matt Brown Fine Art – Lyme, NH – October 16 – November 21

2020 – “Pushing The Envelope” – Pulp Gallery – Holyoke, MA – May – June

2019 – “I AM…” – Vermont Arts Council – Spotlight Gallery – Montpelier, VT – November 8th

2019 – “Colors of Life” – Vermont Watercolor Society – Tunbridge Library, Tunbridge, VT – Sept – Nov

2019 – I AM... Vermont Arts Council. Montpelier, VT

2016 – Nebizun: Water is Life, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT.

2017 – 2018Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage (traveling exhibit). Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

2016 – Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, PA.

2015 – Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Vergennes, VT

2014 – 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

2010 – You Are Here Senior Show – University of Maine, Maine 2009    

Juried Student Show, Lord Hall – University of Maine, Maine

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Aaron York

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2017
Image of Aaron York.
Aaron York

Aaron York is an internationally celebrated  traditional artist, educator, public speaker and mentor.  He is the owner and founder of the Red Child Studio of Fine Wabanaki Arts.  Although best known for his skills as a birchbark canoe artisan, he has also revived several other rare Wabanaki art forms such as brides boxes and highly embellished crooked knives. His pieces are of equal complexity to the ancestral examples known in museums and private collections. 

Image of Birchbark Moose Call.
Birchbark Moose Call

As a result, his arts can be found in museums and high-end private collections resting aside pieces of Wabanaki greats such as Tomah Joseph and Eugene Francis of the 1800s. Aaron’s arts have earned many prestigious publications as well placement Hollywood films, commercials, documentaries and radio worldwide.

In 2005, Aaron was asked by the Ministikwan Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan to go west and help them rediscover their traditional canoe forms.  Since then, he has worked extensively with several western First nations in Canada to revive their aboriginal watercraft.  In return for his teaching out west, he was immersed in all other aspects of Algonquian culture that he had been longing to learn.  Aaron attributes being well rounded culturally to traveling to cousin nations where he found missing pieces of his nation’s traditions that were lost to colonization.  Aaron now has strong family ties in the treaty 6 and treaty 7 regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta.  In short, his time and bond with his western Cree cousins was life altering, and the quality of his art is what he attributes to making that relationship possible.

Artist Statement

“Culture is not inherited, it is learned.”  We do not arrive from the womb with the ability to speak our ancestral language or know our culture.  It takes only one generation of failing to teach our children their culture for devastating cultural erosion to occur.  As an eastern Native I know this all too well!  This is what drives me to work so hard to create art that is “over the top” but well within the parameters of regionally specific, traditional Wabanaki art forms.  Such art forms that are rare, labor intensive and have a life-long learning curve.  I am trying to do my part to heal the toxic affect that cultural erosion has caused our people.

Material culture is a language! Its a non-verbal language that transcends the limits of what we can convey through speech or written word.  Material cultural crosses racial divides, political boundaries, and time itself.  Material culture gives us a direct form of connection to our ancestors, other living beings, and the Aki (earth) itself.  When I give thanks to a beautiful canoe birch for the materials it provides me I make a promise to turn its skin into a timeless piece of beauty.  The quality of my art is my greatest giving of thanks to the plants, animals and Aki that give to me.  I am bound through an ancient traditional agreement with my plant, animal and human relations to do my absolute best with their gifts.  This is what I offer the world, my nation, my family.  

This is the non-verbal I message I encapsulate in my art to be understood by my descendants hundreds of years from now:  “Do your very best.  Always stay humble enough to improve your skill! Your hands are speaking for your people!  You are telling the world what our values are!  You are Wabanaskiya!   You are a human representative of Aki’s beauty, health, and a celebration of life itself!  This is the only thing you inherit! The rest is up to you to show just how much beauty you can convey through good hands, just as we did, and my grandmothers and grandfathers did before me.  Love your culture.  Love yourself as much as we love you grandchild and pass this message on through your art the way we passed this on to you!” 

Mkwe Awasis (Red Child)

Aaron York

Contact Info

Address: 120 Elmwood Drive, Barre VT 05641

Email: [email protected]


Exhibits

2005

Fawn Skin quiver, Permanent Collection, Odanak Museum, Odanak FN, QC

2008

Bride Box (bent wood box elaborate chip carved), Flemming Museum, permanent collections Burlington, VT.

2007-present

Birchbark Canoe on permanent exhibit, Abbe Museum, Acadia National Park Location, Acadia National Park, ME.


Events and Workshops

2003  

  • Canadian Canoe Museum, prep assistance on 36′ fur trade canoe, Peterborough ON
  • Odanak Homecoming, canoe build demo, QC, Canada

2004

Onsite build for “Gifts of the Forest,” McCord Museum, , 2004 Montreal, QC, Canada.

2004-2005

Birchbark canoe class, Wooden Boat School, Brooklin, ME.

?2005

Birchbark canoe class, Ministikwan First Nation, 2005 and 2016, Saskatchewan, Canada.

2006

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • Onsite Build of Ocean canoe, Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME.

2007

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • “Champlain Canoe Build,” Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT

2008

  • Birchbark canoe class, Cold Lake First Nations,Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • Birchbark canoe class, Blue Quills First Nations University, St Paul, Alberta Canada

2009

Take A Kid Trapping Program, Youth Birchbark Canoe Class, Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, Canada

2016

Birchbark canoe class, Ministikwan First Nation, 2005 and 2016, Saskatchewan

Featured in Publications

  • American Indian Arts Magazine, 2006
  • Encyclopedia of American Indians, 2007
  • Kent, Jeanne Morningstar. Wabanaki Interviews. The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art, History Press. 2014. p 87-97
  • Montreal Gazette, 2001
  • Mocotaugan, The art and history of the crooked knife, 2005
  • Men at War Series, Northeastern American Indians 2004
  • Wabanaki Artists, 2012
  • National Film Board of Canada, Alanis Obomsawin, 2006
  • BBC, 2001

Film and Media

Reger, Deborah. Moccasin Tracks . Recorded March 2017. WGDR 91.1 FM

List Awards: 

Significant Cultural Benefit Status, Government of Canada, achieved 2006


Affiliations

  • Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
  • Blue Quills First Nations University, St Paul, Alberta Canada
  • Ministikwan Cree First Nation, Island Lake, Treaty 6, Saskatchewan Canada
  • Cold Lake First Nation, Cold Lake, Treaty 6, First Nation Canada
  • Kujjuuaq Inuit, Makivik Corporation, JBNQA Treaty, Nunavik Canada
  • ᑳᓂᔮᓯᕁ kâniyâsihk Culture Camps, Island Lake Cree First Nation

Aaron Wood

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2018
Image of Aaron Wood making a basket.
Aaron Wood making a basket

Aaron Wood descends from a line of Abenaki basket makers. Both he and his mother Kerry Wood did traditional basket making apprenticeships under the renowned basket maker Jeanne Brink. Aaron is familiar with all phases of basketmaking from the initial harvest, through pounding the Ash log to produce long thin splints that will ultimately be wove into a lovely basket.


Artist Statement

Building on a three year apprenticeship with Abenaki master basket maker Jeanne Brink, I weave fancy designs from the 1800s to 1940s styles, as well as less processed work baskets for traditional gathering and household tasks. I also apply traditional techniques to modern recycled materials at times, my ancestors adapted what was available to them, and so do I.

I demonstrate material preparation in exhibit settings to give people a better appreciation for the effort that goes into traditional work.

Image of ash basket.
Ash basket
Image of inside of ash basket.
Inside of ash basket

Contact

Email: [email protected]


Events

2017- present.  Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Vergennes, VT.

2013 – present

Dartmouth Powwow, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

2014, 2016 Vermont History Expo, Turnbridge, VT

2013 – present. Saratoga Native American Festival, Saratoga, NY

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Elnu Abenaki Singers

All are Enrolled Citizens of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe

Elnu Abenaki Singers

Elnu Abenaki Singers

For more over two decades, the Elnu Abenaki Singers have performed across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. They are invited to sing at events, museums, school, and historic sites They echo the voices of their ancestors, who have lived in N’dakinna (the land) for thousands of years.

The public has come to know the Elnu Singers through their repertoire of Wabanaki songs and chants; their signature Eastern style hand drums and rattles. With each new song comes an explanation of what it means and any historic information with may be related.

The Elnu Singers are of mixed ages. The group includes men, women, and children.  They can perform in either modern or traditional clothing from any era from the early 17th century to contemporary.

Image of the Elnu Abenaki Singers performing.
Elnu Abenaki Singers Performing

Contact Info

Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan

Email: [email protected] 

Click here to listen to the Elnu Abenaki Singers


Filmed in night vision at the Jamaica State Park archeological dig. The El-Nu Abenaki Tribe Singers led the public through a night of traditional story-telling and songs. Featured here is one of those songs and the protocol that surrounds it.

For more information on the El-Nu Abenaki Tribe please visit:
http://elnuabenakitribe.org/


Film by Lina Longtoe. Featured in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s exhibit, “Contact of Cultures, 1609.” 

Circle of Courage

Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi

Image of Circle of Courage youth group.
Circle of Courage drumming at the capital.

Background

This highly regarded after-school initiative draws on the writings of acclaimed Native American author Larry Brendtro (Reclaiming Youth At-Risk) who, with colleagues, first introduced this holistic model. While we (Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki Band) believe in the tenets of belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery, these core values have been adapted to accommodate our own beliefs about children.

As we view children from an “at-promise” paradigm, conventional “at-risk” models are replaced by a strengths-based approach.

Through a model that utilizes our traditional dance and other customs, students learn the difference between tobacco as a sacred herb used for ceremonies verses the social convention of cigarette smoking. Ultimately, there is a profound sense that when a community creates a context in which youth can thrive, they will.

The Abenaki Circle of Courage Afterschool Program puts the concepts of belonging, mastery, generosity, and independence into practice.

Children master skills in Native dance and crafts, experience belonging through working together as youth leaders, practice independence in completing artistic projects, and exhibit generosity through community service.

Project Director, Brenda Gagne, is an Abenaki Community member.  Brenda directs the “Circle of Courage” after-school cultural program for both Native and non-Native students in Swanton and Highgate, Vermont. She has been honored by the State of Vermont’s Department of Education for outstanding service.

Jeff Benay is the Director of Indian Education Programs for Franklin County and former long-time Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs.  He has worked with Vermont’s Abenaki for nearly 30 years.  

Contact

Brenda Gagne is the Coordinator of the Circle of Courage program.

Chief Brenda M. Gagne
Coordinator, Abenaki Circle of Courage Program
65 Canada Street, Room 3
Swanton, VT 05488

Click here to read article on St. Albans Messenger website.

Email: [email protected]

Donate to Circle of Courage

Brian Chenevert

Enrolled Citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist since 2016
Brian Chenevert in white ribbon shirt.
Brian Chenevert

Brian Chenevert is the Historic Preservation Officer for the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe and a talented artist. He is a storyteller, author, and wood worker.  who was taught wood carving and whittling by his grandfather at a young age.

He is a history buff whose research helped to revive the traditional Abenaki winter game of Snow Snakes which has now been played annually since 2007. Brian’s hand carves snow snakes, war clubs and rattles decorating them by burning in traditional Wabanaki designs.

For almost 20 years Brian has provided traditional Abenaki and Wabanaki stories for multiple Abenaki newsletters and in 2015 published his first book, “Azban’s Great Journey”, which is a compilation of traditional and original tales of the Abenaki trickster – Azban, the raccoon. Azban’s Great Journey is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Image of Brian Chenevert reading to children.
Brian Chenevert reading to children

Brian has developed the coloring book Abenaki Animals with fellow Nulhegan Abenaki artist, Francine Poitras Jones. Most recently, they have collaborated on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game (2019) that was just released.

He is also a drummer and singer who performs with the Nulhegan Abenaki Drum.


Artist Statement

I have always loved working with wood, carving and shaping it into a creation of all your own.  I enjoy taking a simple branch and working it into a snow snake which will bring joy to some boy or girl at our annual winter games.

I have been telling and sharing Abenaki stories for many years, providing stories for multiple Abenaki newsletters and culminating in completing my first book about Azban the raccoon.  The tales of Azban, in particular, are ones my children loved to hear over and over throughout the years which is what led to him being the topic of my first book.

In 2015, Brian published his first book, “Azban’s Great Journey”, which is a compilation of traditional and original tales of the Abenaki trickster – Azban, the raccoon.  Azban’s Great Journey is now available for purchase on Amazon.
Brian has developed the coloring book Abenaki Animals with fellow Nulhegan Abenaki artist, Francine Poitras Jones. Most recently, they have collaborated on the storybook  Swift Deer’s Spirit Game that was just released.

In addition to woodworking and carving, I enjoy bead work and crafting and have made many pieces which include porcupine quill earrings and chokers, wampum earrings, belts, bracelets, and necklaces.

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]


Image of war clubs made by Brian Chenevert.
War Clubs
Image of rattle made by Brian Chenevert.
Rattle
Image of snow snakes made by Brian Chenevert.
Snow Snakes

Image of book called Azban's Great Journey
Image of book Swift Deer's Spirit Game

Presentations

2016, 2018

Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes,  VT

Publications

Radio Interviews

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

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