Vermont Indigenous Youth Essay Contest

Sponsored by the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs:

The purpose of the Vermont Indigenous Youth Essay Contest is to promote a sense of pride and community among indigenous youth in the State of Vermont. The commission would like to foster positivity surrounding identity and how their unique perspective brings value to self and the communities they belong to.

Eligibility: The contest is for indigenous students in two categories: Grades 7 through 8 and 9 through 12 who are living in the State of Vermont. Students must identify as Native American or First Nations.

Rules: Please answer the essay question below in 1000 words or less. Submissions can be emailed to Jennifer.lavoie@vermont.gov or mailed to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, 1 National Life Drive, Davis Building 6th Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620-0501. The deadline for submission is May 15. Results will be announced at the Heritage Celebration at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum on June 24. The Moccasin Tracks Radio Program will be hosting participants from this contest for a radio program on May 18.

Question: How does your indigenous heritage inform the way that you walk through the world?

Prize: Students who receive recognition for their essays will receive an award from the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and all students will select from a list of experiences with an indigenous community member. Examples of an experience may be learning a particular craft, such as twining, beadwork, or finger weaving, or spending an afternoon with a chief or other leader in the community. Students can elect to participate in the Moccasin Tracks Radio Program as well.

Link to a pdf file of this announcement: Indigenous-Heritage-Essay-Contest

Goodbye, Columbus. Hello, Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

commons indigenous peoples day brattleboro

The [Brattleboro] Selectboard unanimously voted to approve a resolution proclaiming the second Monday in October of each year be named “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

During Representative Town Meeting in March, the body unanimously voted to recommend the Selectboard approve the proclamation.

At the April 18 regular Selectboard meeting, Board Chair Kate O’Connor read the document — written by Town Attorney Bob Fisher with edits by Rich Holschuh — into the record.

In addition to setting the date of the day, the proclamation says the Selectboard “heeds said advice and desires to recognize the Indigenous People of Wantastegok in Sokwakik — the immediate area now known as Brattleboro, Vermont — dwelling here prior to and during the colonization begun by Christopher Columbus in the Western Hemisphere[.]”

Read the full article by Wendy Levy in The Commons.

Explore Maine History with Maine-Wabanaki REACH & UMaine Art Students

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Join Maine-Wabanaki REACH and UMaine Art Education Students for an interactive story-telling event. We will be exploring events in the shared history of Europeans and their descendants and Wabanaki people.

Participation is limited to a maximum of 30. To enroll, you must RSVP by April 26th to Constant Albertson at constant@maine.edu. First come, first serve, and accepted participants will receive a confirmation email. A list of alternatives will be kept in case of spaces becoming available.

Link to web listing.

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Shutesbury, MA Warrant Initiative to Protect Native Sites

shutesbury ma town seal

Development pressures that could compromise sacred and ceremonial American Indian sites are prompting concerned residents to ask annual Town Meeting to mandate better protections and more thorough studies of Shutesbury land.

The petition, known as the “Resolution to Preserve Native American Historical Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties, Including Ceremonial Stone Landscapes,” was recently submitted for inclusion on the May 6 warrant by Friends of Shutesbury and the Oso:ah Foundation. Oso:ah stands for “planting a tree in the name of peace.”

James Schilling-Cachat of Leverett Road, a spokesman for the groups, said the article is important because the town is rich in sacred stone sites, yet they are at risk because little has been done to catalog them.

Read the full article by Scott Merzbach in the Greenfield Recorder.

Five College NAIS: A Reading with LeAnn Howe and Susan Power

leann howe susan power five college NAIS

From gedakina.org:  please join us for a reading by LeAnne Howe and Susan Power in association with “Living Waters, Animate Lands,” the Annual Five College Native American & Indigenous Studies Symposium, April 6-8, 2017 https://www.fivecolleges.edu/natam/events
 
Friday, April 7, Cole Assembly, Converse Hall, Amherst College
Symposium, 9am-5pm
Reception, 6:30pm
Reading, 7pm
 
LeAnne Howe (MFA) is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her first novel Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001) received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger, one of France’s top literary awards. Evidence of Red (Salt Publishing, UK, 2005) won the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry and a Wordcraft Circle Award. Her most recent novel is Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story(Aunt Lute Books, 2007). Her latest two books Choctalking On Other Realities (Aunt Lute Books), a memoir, and Seeing Red/Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film (Michigan State University Press), a co-edited anthology of film reviews were both published in 2013. She is the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature in the English Department at the University of Georgia, Athens. 
 
Susan Power (JD, MFA) is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is the author of three books, The Grass Dancer (a novel), Roofwalker (a story collection), and the new novel, Sacred WildernessThe Grass Dancer was awarded a PEN/Hemingway prize in 1995 and Roofwalker a Milkweed National Fiction Prize in 2002. Her short stories and essays have been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies including: The Best American Short Stories of 1993, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Southern Review and Granta. Her fellowships include an Iowa Arts Fellowship, James Michener Fellowship, Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, USA Artists Fellowship, Loft McKnight Fellowship for 2015-16, and Native Arts and Cultures.
 
Sponsored by the Corliss Lamont Fund, the English and American Studies departments, the Frost Library Archives and Special Collections, and the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program

Third Annual Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Symposium April 6-8, 2017

the women elizabeth lapensee

Living Waters, Animate Lands

Traditional Ecological Knowledge:  Braiding Story, Skills and Sustenance with Hope for a Sustainable Future

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 6 (UMass Amherst Campus Center: Cape Cod Lounge)

6:30 pm Welcome Reception

7:00 pm Film: “The Spirit of Standing Rock”

Friday, April 7 (Amherst College, Converse Hall: Cole Assembly)

9:00 am Gathering, Welcome, Opening Ceremonies

9:30-11:00 Opening address and Animate Lands Panel

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-1:00 Living Waters Panel

1:00-2:00 Buffet lunch for all participants

2:00-3:00 Roundtable Discussions – Speakers, FCNAIS faculty, participants

3:15-4:15 Roundtable Discussions – Speakers, FCNAIS faculty, participants

4:30-5:00 Summary Discussion and Closing (All)

6:30pm Evening Reception (Amherst College, Converse Hall: Cole Assembly lobby)

7:00pm Reading by LeAnne Howe and Susan Power

Saturday, April 8 (gather at Amherst College)

10:00-noon TEK plant walk

Featured Speakers

Fikret Berkes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, and author of Sacred Ecology (Third Edition, Routledge, 2012)

John Banks is the Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Indian Nation and, as a representative of his nation, helped develop the  Penobscot River Restoration Project

Amberdawn LaFrance works for the Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program, part of the Environmental Division of the Akwesasne/St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which recently produced a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the nation.

Natalie Michelle is a citizen of Penobscot nation and a Ph.D. Candidate in  Ethnobotany and Adaptive Management at the University of Maine, Orono.

With a dual background in art and marine science, Elizabeth James Perry works for the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Historic Preservation office.

Nicholas James Reo is a citizen of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Assistant Professor of Native American and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, where where he studies Indigenous knowledge and ecological stewardship on Indigenous lands.

LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian and Native American experiences.

Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is the author of three books, The Grass Dancer (a novel), Roofwalker (a story collection), and the new novel, Sacred Wilderness.

Judy Dow is an Abenaki educator who specializes in sharing indigenous environmental knowledge with youth. A basketmaker and artist, she incorporates traditional ecological knowledge into her art and her teaching.

Go here for a full schedule and list of speakers.

Sponsored in part by Gedakina.org.