Chasing Seeds: The Incredible Story of Our Ancient Crops

jerusalem artichokes retreat farm 2015

Fred Wiseman will be speaking tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 2nd from 6-9 pm) at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier, Vermont. This is the first in a series of presentations on traditional Wabanaki Crops, Agriculture and Cuisine; Fred’s extensive experience in Wabanaki and ethnobotanical studies has been brought to bear on the archaeological and Colonial Period ethnobotany of Vermont’s indigenous peoples and their neighbors.

Vermont Hosts The Wabanaki Confederacy Conference

abenaki drumsLeading off this morning, the Abenaki bands of Vermont are hosting a gathering of the Wabanaki Confederacy, in this state for the first time in 200 years. Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition talks with Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band of Coosuk-Abenaki and Professor Fred Wiseman about this momentous and forward-looking event. The Conference will be held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont beginning today, August 19, 2015 through Saturday August 22, 2015; the public is invited to join the celebration all day on Saturday. A Facebook Event page can be found here.

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.”

Retired Professor Tracks Ancient Seeds

The Plattsburgh Press Republican outlines Fred Wiseman’s upcoming presentation at the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, VT on July 19 at 3 pm. Professor Wiseman will discuss his 4-year-old Seeds of Renewal project: searching for, collecting, and restoring many varieties of heirloom seeds used in historical and present-day Abenaki agriculture.

Restoring the Voice of the Abenaki

The Abenaki women’s choir Voices of the Koas have been recognized in-depth by the Manchester (NH) Union Leader for their commitment to revitalizing the lyrical heritage of the Alnobak. They are based in the Upper (Connecticut River) Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire and are active in sharing their gift of song in the schools and communities of northern New England. They have just released a new CD, Lal8maw8gan, with 9 tracks sung by the group joined by a few of their students, a new generation carrying the culture forward. You may purchase a copy on their website!