by Howard Weiss-Tisman, September 2, 2017
Gov. Phil Scott says that he will proclaim Oct. 9, 2017 as Indigenous People’s Day in Vermont. This is the same date on which the federal holiday Columbus Day falls this year.
According to his proclamation, Scott says the state will recognize the contributions of Vermont’s first residents.
“I’m pleased to recognize the historic and cultural significance of the Indigenous Peoples here in Vermont, with an understanding our state was founded and built upon the lands they first inhabited,” Scott wrote in a prepared statement obtained on Friday. “With this proclamation, we, as a state, aim to acknowledge and celebrate indigenous heritage.”
Gov. Peter Shumlin issued a similar proclamation in 2016 after Brattleboro resident Rich Holschuh suggested the idea. Holschuh, a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, says he reached out to Scott’s office earlier this year to extend the proclamation.
It would take legislative action to formally rename Columbus Day in the state. However at the local level, the Brattleboro select board already passed a resolution this year after town meeting voters passed a nonbinding resolution supporting the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in lieu of Columbus Day.
When: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 9:30am-4pm
Where: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT
Cost: $15 registration fee includes lunch and program materials.
Walk Through Western Abenaki History with Melody Walker Brook
From creation to the present day, Brook will touch upon key events in Abenaki history to highlight their unique story in the Northeast.
Introduction to VAAA Educational Resources with Vera and Lina
Explore VAAA educational tools, study guides, activity sheets and possible classroom visits by Abenaki culture bearers. Followed by a sample screening of some of our documentary short that teachers can show their students in their classrooms.
Using the Land, River, Forest, and Animals to Survive with Roger Longtoe Sheehan
When talking about hunting, spirituality, and land use, it’s important to understand how they are all connected. Sheehan will guide us through seasonal lifeways from hunting moose, ice fishing, harvesting materials for survival. There will also be a display of equipment and other items from his private collection.
Alnobak: Wearing Our Heritage Exhibition Tour with Vera Longtoe Sheehan
Teachers will have the opportunity to further their knowledge of the intertwining historical and cultural concepts that they have been learning throughout the day, and to become more familiar with some of the materials available to the Abenaki people. The tour will explore how culture bearers express their identity through wearing regalia that shows their connections to the world, their community and their ancestors.
Coming Home: the Significance of Local Knowledge and Stewardship by Lina Longtoe
Across Native American communities, what is the principle of the Next Seven Generations and how have Abenaki families communicated it to their children? Learn how to connect students to local plant life, then utilize them to create children’s toys and activities.
Gardening and Foodways with Liz Charlebois