Abenaki Heritage Weekend
June 28-29, 2014
This special weekend, hosted by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and presented in partnership with the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, gives visitors an Abenaki perspective on life in the Champlain Valley. Members of the Elnu and Missisquoi Abenaki tribes, the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk and Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation work with Museum staff to plan and present the event, with the advice and support of the Commission.
The Native people at this event are experts in the living indigenous arts and traditions which they come together to share with one another and with visitors. They have inherited, researched, reconstructed, or apprenticed to learn the techniques with which they create outstanding beadwork, quillwork, basketry, pottery, woodworking and other items for personal use or for sale. Tribal members will also share songs, drumming, dancing, games, food preparation, and other life skills. Recent work by Abenaki artists and artisans will be featured in LCMM’s exhibit Contact of Cultures, together with footage by Abenaki videographer Lina Longtoe documenting artists, artisans, and performers, and recent Abenaki Tribal Recognition.
Abenaki Heritage Weekend also includes opportunities to share cultural heritage through illustrated talks and Round Table discussions on topics such as efforts to preserve Abenaki as a living language, and the cultivation, use and exchange of heirloom plants. “I have been amazed by the richness and depth of the cultural and historical information brought out by the Vermont Indigenous bands during their research for Vermont State Recognition,” says Frederick M. Wiseman, Ph. D., Director of the Wobanakik Heritage Center in Swanton. “This is a new stage with great potential in Vermont culture and history – for Native people to work on their own history and culture and then present the results.”
Participation included with daily Museum admission or annual museum membership.