Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing Announces New Abenaki Heritage and Culture Learning Tool

Credit: Frederick Wiseman

This summer season, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) has partnered with Abenaki tribes to help Vermonters and visitors learn more about Vermont’s first peoples. The new VermontVacation.com/Abenaki website serves as a hub for events, exhibits and destinations that welcome visitors to explore the 12,000 year history and culture of today’s Abenaki.

Join Abenaki tribes at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 28 -29 at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. Vermont’s four Abenaki tribes and members of the Abenaki Artists Association will convene to share their heritage and culture. See beadwork, quillwork, basketry, pottery, woodworking, and demonstrations and performances of songs, drumming, dancing, games, food preparation, and other life skills. There will be wampum readings and “Seeds of Renewal,” illustrated program that describes the search for and preservation of heirloom plants and associated ceremonies and traditions.

Additional summertime Abenaki cultural heritage events include:

  • Paddle to Prehistory, June 27 & 29 in Vergennes
  • Nulhegan 2014 Heritage Celebration & Encampment, September 6-7 in Island Pond
  • 19th Annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship, September 20 in Addison

A number of Vermont museums host exhibits that introduce visitors to archaeological findings that illustrate the 12,000 years of regional habitation. Witness more than 2,000 artifacts, including a rare a St. Lawrence Iroquoian-style ceramic vessel (c. 1500) that was unearthed in Vermont in the early 19th century, at the James B. Petersen Gallery of Native American Cultures at the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum. Also, exhibits at Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes explore 17th century Abenaki culture and the introduction of the French settlement of the region. Families are provided hands-on activities at a re-created Abenaki bark home at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier and can an extensive timeline exhibit at the Vermont Archaeology Center in Barre.

Visit www.vermontvacation.com/Abenaki for more information on these summertime events as well as annual events that feature performances, demonstrations and opportunities for conversation with Abenaki artists, performers, cultural experts and historians.

About Vermont Abenaki: Vermont's Native history started 12,900 years ago when people called the Paleo-Indians first moved into the land we now call Vermont. Since these earliest occupations nearly 13,000 years ago, Native communities have continually lived in Vermont. Native knowledge, experience, and traditions have deeply influenced many aspects of Vermont's rich history. Today Vermont is home to four State-recognized Native American Indian Tribes: Elnu Abenaki Tribe, Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, and Koasek Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation. For more about Vermont’s recognized tribes, visit http://vcnaa.vermont.gov.

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