Brunswick Junior HS Holds Wabanaki Cultural Day


The junior high school was abuzz with more than just typical Friday excitement May 11, when seventh-graders broke away from their standard classroom routine for a special reason. The afternoon marked the school’s first-ever Wabanaki Cultural Day, and allowed the students to try their hands at traditional native crafts and activities.

Teachers also got a break from their usual classes, as experts in each area of instruction from the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes led the activities.

Social studies teacher Carla Shaw, one of the organizers of the event, said it was made possible by a $2,500 grant from the Brunswick Community Education Foundation. Shaw and talent development teacher Sharon McCormack applied for the funding. Maine schools are mandated to teach about Wabanaki culture, but Shaw said “there’s not a lot of resources out there,” aside from some pages in the social studies textbook.

Read the article by Elizabeth Clemente in The Forecaster.

Photo by The Forecaster also.

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6 thoughts on “Brunswick Junior HS Holds Wabanaki Cultural Day”

    1. I wonder as well… I tend to focus close to home, because I can effect the greatest change by staying on target in familiar territory. I know that Vermont has no such requirement. It is one of the items high on our action list in the next couple years. Awareness is the first step toward understanding, and then respect.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Regarding schools: I wonder how many states require this education about local Indigenous Nations?

    Fairfield CT has a high school named after Roger Ludlowe who was – amongst others – chiefly responsible for the Great Swamp Massacre. Which the town calls The Great Swamp *War* & focuses on the younger Indigenous males without referring to the Indigenous infants & children & women & elderly murdered. Those not murdered were taken as slaves.

    This seems to bother very few people. It is really angering. And it is evidence of how language is employed in the present to allow oppression to continue. 60+ Palestinian unarmed civilians were just murdered & hundreds injured yet were described as dangerous Hamas militants. If the massacres such as The Swamp Massacre of Pequots was described as such & the murder of children & elderly described; then people would more easily see the parallels between present day events & similar past events. (And a better word is required than ‘events’).

    New England Indigenous should call attention to all these CT institutions named after Ludlowe. Now that more mainstreamed people are waking up to the truth about Columbus.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *Sorry for repeating myself. Honestly I am exhausted. It may as well be the 1860s for Palestinians. I would like to hear more from other Indigenous peoples who we spend so much time supporting. South Africa & Ireland have drawn a line – but we need voices from America/Turtle Island w/ the nightmare that is transpiring. I am beginning to think identity politics is destructive for indigenous peoples & people of colour. We’re becoming islands. Sorry for diverting the subject of your post.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Identity politics can be a two-edged sword. I prefer to look at it through a sense of our shared humanity, but some acknowledgement of differences seems necessary. Community and culture operate on a much smaller scale. And people are people; we have always recognized difference… it’s what we do with it that makes us compassionate or conflicted.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Very true, the language used – which frames the way the stories are told – is a tool of those with a power agenda. It worked very well back then, and it works well now. Nothing has changed. If anything, it seems folks these days are more deluded than ever, in that they think they have a wealth of “sources” and “information,” so they must be better informed than ever… Little realizing that that degree of overwhelm is precisely part of the sleight-of-hand. The misdirection is astounding!

      My hope is that I can help to reach people in their own neighborhoods, their own towns, with an understanding of colonization and its effects. It is something they might be able to access a little better, a shifting of realities, when they are familiar with the landscape and the local legends. Some sense of the arbitrary, and even deliberate, misrepresentations of history can begin to penetrate and then inform other, wider awarenesses. I hope…

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