After a year’s hiatus, Abenaki and Indigenous Peoples Day is returning to White River Junction. The celebration, hosted by the Hartford Historical Society, aims to honor Vermont’s earliest known residents who lived in the area well before Vermont, or the United States for that matter, was ever thought of. It will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction. Admission is free.
Among the attendees will be Jeanne Brink, whom Martha Knapp, director of the Hartford Historical Society Museum, described as “a respected elder,” of the Abenaki tribe. Brink also teaches the Abenaki language. “The language is really getting big now that the Abenaki are starting to come out and get recognized,” Knapp said. Brink also teaches basket-making, and three of her students, Emily, Megan and Valerie Boles, will be there with her to demonstrate their skills.
Read the full story by Liz Sauchelli in the Valley News.
Polimana Joshevama, 19, was one of about 75 people standing in the light rain on the Dartmouth Green, listening to songs and speeches about the ongoing battle between the Standing Rock Sioux and the company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. The event, as well as a smaller action taken outside Bank of America on Hanover’s Main Street earlier in the day, were part of a nationwide “show of solidarity” with Sioux protesters, and also provided an opportunity for left-leaning activists to talk about how Donald Trump’s presidency might affect their future political actions.
Hartford resident Donna Moody, a tribal elder in the Abenaki Nation and Director of the Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions, was one of a handful of speakers. “The very real risk of increased environmental degradation now exists when faced with a president elect and majority political party that deny the existence of global warming, that deny the existence of dangers of fracking, drilling and pipeline leaks,” she told the crowd. “That risk becomes more of a reality when those who make public policy support and invest in pursuing the mining, selling and transportation of fossil fuels.”
Read the full story in the Valley News. Photo by Valley News.