Native American Heritage on Display at Annual Festival

Wabanaki Basketmaking

Folks in Bar Harbor got to experience a little taste of history. The annual Native American Festival and Basketmakers market brought music, dance, and a lesson in culture to Downeast Maine.

“You know Maine a lot of times doesn’t really know much about indigenous population so it’s a wonderful gathering of artisans and drummers and sharing.”

Each handcrafted item represents the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people. For many visitors it’s a chance to meet artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki art from the Maritimes.

“It’s a wonderful thing to see each other and share our music with them. We are a strong part of Maine history and we would like to bring that back.”

See the full article by Alyssa Thurlow on WABI 5.

Vermont Folklife Center Offering Apprenticeships

The Vermont Folklife Center announces the continuation of the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program for its 24th year. Initiated to support Vermont’s living cultural heritage, the program provides stipends of up to $2,000 as honoraria and to cover such expenses as materials and travel. Under the auspices of the program, traditional arts such as blacksmithing, Abenaki basket making, Franco American singing, and Bhutanese Nepali folk dancing have received support.

A traditional arts apprenticeship brings teachers and learners together who share a common commitment to keeping these art forms alive. It pairs a community-acknowledged master artist who has achieved a high level of expertise in his or her art form with a less-experienced apprentice. The master and apprentice jointly plan when, where, and what they expect to accomplish over the course of the apprenticeship. Apprenticeship schedules reflect the time constraints of both master and apprentice and range from short-term, intensive sessions to meetings spread over the course of a year.

Read the full announcement here.

Dialogue Tour: American Flag Motif in Wabanaki Art

wabanaki flag basket abbe museum

Monday, July 3, 2017 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert St, Bar Harbor, Maine

For more information: 207-288-3519; abbemuseum.org/events/?view=calendar&month=July-2017

The Abbe Museum’s education team will be hosting a specialized dialogue program surrounding the use of the American flag motif in Wabanaki art. Participants will be prompted with questions to guide the conversation and have opportunities to share insights.

The cost of participating is $9 and includes admission for the rest of the day at our two locations!

There are a limited number of spaces for this one of a kind program. Please register by emailing educator@abbemuseum.org or call 207-801-4081.

Original post in the Bangor Daily News.

The Wabanaki Way in Fredericton, New Brunswick

kolele mooke birchbark box

The Fredericton Regional Museum is putting the finishing touches on a new First Nations exhibit. It’s called The Wabanaki Way and opens to the public on June 9. But the museum offered a sneak peak Tuesday, led by Ramona Nicholas from Tobique First Nation.

“The Wabanaki means the People of the Dawn, and this is what we call each other as a larger group that include the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot,” said Nicholas. “It’s a large territory but in this exhibit we’re just focusing on here in New Brunswick.”

Read the article in CBCNews – New Brunswick.

Passamaquoddy Ceremony Launches Birchbark Canoe

dwayne tomah passamaquoddy canoe damariscotta
Passamaquoddy elder Dwayne Tomah gives a blessing in both Passamaquoddy and English before the boat is launched into the Damariscotta River for its first ride. (Christine LaPado-Breglia photo)

By 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, a small crowd had gathered near the flagpole at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle. The occasion was the celebration of the recent completion of a Wabanaki birchbark canoe in the school’s Cable-Burns Applied Technology and Engineering Center, a project that was led by Wellington master canoe-builder Steve Cayard.

On this day, Cayard and a number of others – including the LA students involved in helping build the 14-foot canoe – accompanied the beautiful brown boat as it was carried along in a procession down Academy Hill Road that ended at the Damariscotta town landing for a launching ceremony marking the canoe’s maiden voyage.

Beginning in late March, Cayard, boat-building interns Dan Asher and Tobias Francis, and students at LA worked together for four weeks to create the traditional birchbark canoe – shaping the bark, bending the canoe’s ribs, splitting and lashing spruce roots, and so on. The result is a meticulously crafted, artfully detailed, lightweight canoe that is authentic in every way. Originally, Passamaquoddy master canoe-builder David Moses Bridges – a longtime friend and colleague of Cayard’s – was scheduled to work on the building of the boat, but he passed away from cancer in January at age 54. Francis is his son.

Read the story by 

Maliseet Launching Ceremony for Handmade Wabanaki Canoe

maliseet-launching-tobias-francis

Intern Tobias Francis installs a rib on the Wabanaki birch-bark canoe to be launched at the Damariscotta town landing on Thursday, April 27.

During the past month, many hands have shaped bark, bent ribs, split and lashed spruce roots, laid in planks, wedged ribs into place, and sealed seams. Master canoe-builder Steve Cayard, interns Dan Asher and Tobias Francis, and students from Lincoln Academy are putting the finishing touches on a traditional 14-foot Wabanaki birch-bark canoe at Lincoln Academy’s Applied Technology and Engineering Center, where the construction is taking place. This one-of-a-kind project is the result of a partnership between Damariscotta River Association and Lincoln Academy, with support provided by LincolnHealth as well as members of the community.

Now ready for its maiden paddle, this special canoe will receive a special send-off. The public is invited to join representatives from Lincoln Academy, DRA, and the Maliseet First Nation for a procession and the ceremonial launching of this remarkable craft on Thursday, April 27. The processional group will gather at the Lincoln Academy flagpole at 1 p.m. that day and will carry the canoe to the Damariscotta town landing, where the ceremony will begin at around 1:30 p.m. Maliseet representative Wayne Brooks will lead the ceremony, giving a blessing before the canoe is launched for the first time. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to Friday, April 28, at the same time.

Lincoln Academy is located at 81 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle.

Original article in the Lincoln County News.