“I’m Chief Stevens. I’m the Chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki tribe. I want to make it clear. We are a sovereign nation. We are not victims. We would like to promote education and cultural opportunities which I think Burlington has a unique position to be able to afford that including the mural. It’s problematic just from the fact that it doesn’t represent Abenaki people. But I want to find ways to work with you guys in promoting our culture in a positive manner.”
Read the latest discussion of the Church Street mural in Burlington, Vermont from WAMC and Northeast Public Radio, with Pat Bradley.
The fifth annual Nulhegan Abenaki Heritage Gathering will take place on Saturday and Sunday (8/13-8/14) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, there will be singing, drumming and dancing, and traditional games for both adults and children. Members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, as well as other Native Peoples, will sell traditional and contemporary art, and some will demonstrate their crafts.
“This event is all about making sure natives can enjoy their culture and gather as a community. … My job as chief is to make sure that our kids know their culture,” Stevens said. “The public is also welcome to come, and understand who we are and what we do. We are often overlooked. Most people look at minorities, and don’t think of the Abenaki. We’ve been part of the fabric for so long that we aren’t seen as outsiders.”
Note: although this gathering took place this past weekend, a record of the story is placed here for reference. Full story in Stowe Today.