Skowhegan Area Students Learn About Wabanaki Culture

john bear mitchell penobscot skowhegan wabanaki

High school students from Skowhegan, Upper Kennebec Valley and Carrabec high schools got to ‘know’ their Indian neighbors this past Thursday (Nov. 12, 2015). John Bear Mitchell, a member of the Penobscot tribe and associate director of the Wabanaki Center at the University of Maine, used storytelling and humor Thursday to teach high school students about his people and their culture, history and identity in the modern world.

Read the article at the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

Msaskek: Plainfield, Vermont Brook Naming Ceremony

plainfield mskaskek ceremony brink

A photo essay on the very enjoyable blog Fotogosaurus gives us a participant’s viewpoint on the recent brook-naming celebration in Plainfield, Vermont. Elder and linguist Jeanne Brink, with her husband Doug and many other townspeople and officials, offered sweetgrass as part of their acknowledgement during the naming ceremony. You can join this momentous occasion by visiting the post

The Seven Sisters of Abenaki Indigenous Agriculture

vcgn calypso seven sisters copy

Building on the previously posted article, here’s a wonderful post on the blog of the Vermont Community Garden Network which digs deeper into the work of the Seeds of Renewal project. The author attended a workshop hosted by the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism during which they explored the fact that there are relationships with a large family of plants beyond the well-known Three Sisters.

Indigenous Wabanaki Harvest School To Be Held

abenaki agriculture

Short notice, but the Montpelier Bridge has listed notice (article here) of an all-day presentation about Wabanaki agriculture, with a special focus on celebrating a Native harvest feast. Hosted by The Center for Integrative Herbalism, it will be held tomorrow, November 7, 2015, beginning at 9 am. This builds on Dr. Fred Wiseman’s ongoing work with the Seeds of Renewal Project, researching and restoring the history and culture of Wabanaki food production, cycles, and ceremony.

Walking the Talk

Saints-Strangers-tantanka-means-jesse-bowman-bruchac

National Geographic Channel’s upcoming release Saints and Strangers, to be shown this Thanksgiving 2015  season, is eagerly anticipated by many with a focus on Native culture in the Northeast. Western Abenaki language instructor Jesse Bruchac was enlisted to help make this “the most authentic retelling of the Thanksgiving story ever committed to film.”  The Native American cast members, among them Tatanka Means, Kalani Queypo, and Raoul Trujillo, accepted the challenge and wholeheartedly committed themselves to the task as an honor.

Channel Guide Magazine online has the story here.

Kluskap of the Wabanaki

Kluskap planting wolastoq

From the Portland Press-Herald article: Artist illustrates legends of Wabanaki mythological hero

“I have discovered that most legends are simply told and not illustrated,” Dozay said in a press release. “I feel and have experienced that our Wabanaki tribes and cultural significance are known and considered significant among our own people, but lacking in mainstream Aboriginal teachings. …”

The exhibit, “Kluskap of the Wabanaki,” will open Nov. 5 and run through Dec. 19 at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor . It features original paintings by native artist Arlene Christmas Dozay that illustrate various legends of the mythological hero and his adventures across the Wabanaki homeland, using landmarks that tell his story.

Passamaquoddy Tribe to Launch Language Immersion Program

donald soctomah passamaquoddy

Passamaquoddy Donald Soctomah will serve as program administrator.

From the Bangor Daily News:

PLEASANT POINT, Maine — A three-year, $750,000 federal grant from the Administration of Native Americans is aimed at helping the Passamaquoddy revive their language.

The tribe will use the money to develop two language immersion programs for preschoolers and a handful of adults — one at each of the reservations in Pleasant Point and Indian Township, said Donald Soctomah, who is serving as administrator as an in-kind contribution required by the grant.