VPR Coverage for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Vermont


A full story was assembled after an interview by Vermont Public Radio reporter Howard Weiss-Tisman on Friday, Oct. 7, the day after Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the Proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day. The story was posted today, Oct. 8th (audio to follow). Read it here.

Several other media stories have been released following the Oct. 6, 2016 action by Vermont Gov. Shumlin. WPTZ-NBC TV Channel 5 in Burlington rolled in the ongoing exploration of similar action in Hartford, VT.

Clink link for full report:




Indian Island Schoolchildren Perform Wabanaki Tales

indian island wabanaki story drama

“Mahtoqehs didn’t like these People very much,” one of Indian Island School’s eighth-graders says, trying out the word at first, then confidently repeating it in full as she rehearses her part in an upcoming performance by her class.

Roger Paul, Wabanaki language teacher at Indian Island School, nods, a smile stretching across his face. He gives her an ecstatic double thumbs up and she smiles back, encouraged.

Read the full story at Bangor Daily News.

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.

Western Abenaki in the 21st Century

jeanne brink abenaki basketmaker

From the Keene Sentinel: Jeanne Brink, Abenaki elder and educator, will discuss the Western Abenaki of the twenty-first century Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at 1 p.m. at the Rockingham Library. She will explain the projects that present-day Abenakis are working on to maintain and preserve traditions and language. She will also note how technology affects Abenaki culture….

Going, Going, Gone: Endangered Languages

Vermont Edition host Jane Lindholm (of Vermont Public Radio) spoke with UVM professor Emily Manetta about the intertwined effects of language loss and its impact on cultural heritage. Special attention is paid to Aln8ba8dwaw8gan, the language spoken by the Western Abenaki people of Vermont, New Hampshire, and southern Quebec (today’s approximate area). Jesse Bruchac, language scholar and teacher with elder Joseph Elie Joubert, shares his perspectives and his work with the hosts.

One Man’s Quest To Preserve Abenaki Language

Vermont Public Radio recently aired a segment on Vermont Edition, speaking with Jesse Bowman Bruchac about his life work teaching and preserving the Western Abenaki language, Aln8ba8dwaw8gan.  “Every language holds within it an entire understanding of the world,” says Bruchac. “When we lose a language, we’ve lost some of the diversity of human thought.” This is the audio for the full interview with Jesse, speaking on Skype from South Africa, where he was instructing the Native cast members in language for National Geographic’s filming of “Saints and Strangers.”