School of Abenaki Pilots First Summer Remotely


In its first summer as part of Middlebury’s summer Language Schools, the School of Abenaki engaged 23 students in a two-week pilot program on Abenaki language and culture. Jesse Bowman Bruchac, a citizen of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, led Middlebury’s first Native American language program. The school allowed all of its students to attend this year free of charge, something Bruchac noted as a demonstration of the college’s support of efforts to preserve indigenous culture and language in the area.

Like all of Middlebury’s Language Schools this summer, the program was conducted remotely.

“Being online helped to bring people together,” said Bruchac, who has spent his career traveling across New England and the country to teach. Bruchac has nearly 30 years of experience teaching the Abenaki language and working to preserve its culture… (continued)

Read the full article by Catherine McLaughlin in The Middlebury Campus digital paper.


New Abenaki Language School in Vermont

abenaki heritage weekend

Learning a new language can be both daunting and rewarding. And perhaps no other language school in the U.S. does it better than Middlebury College and its famous Middlebury Language Schools.

That’s why Middlebury’s new School of Abenaki, a pilot program for 2020 which wrapped up recently, promises to become an asset to the school’s overall program in the coming years.

The secret of the internationally acclaimed Vermont language school is its intensive, immersive approach. Students not only learn a new language but they are also live it by being taught the language’s culture underpinnings.

Approximately 20 students lived, learned, and interacted with Abenaki, Vermont’s indigenous language, during June and July.

Link to the original article in The Sun, from The Vermont Eagle.

Jeanne Brink to be Honored at Middlebury College

jeanne brink abenaki basketmaker

From the Feb. 22, 2018 article in

Middlebury… will honor four other distinguished men and women with honorary degrees this year:

Jeanne A. Brink is an Abenaki artist and activist. She conducts workshops and programs on Western Abenaki storytelling, history, language, culture, basket making, oral tradition, dance, games, and current issues throughout Vermont and New England. Tracing her Abenaki heritage back to the early 1700s, she continues the tradition of Western Abenaki ash splint and sweetgrass fancy basketry as a master basket maker. Brink has served on the Vermont Commission for Native American Affairs, the Lake Champlain Basin Program Cultural Heritage and Recreation Advisory Committee, and many other local organizations. She is the author of several books about Abenaki art and language.

The Middlebury College Commencement ceremony will take place on the main quadrangle at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 27. More than 5,000 family members and friends are expected to attend.