Abenaki Heritage Weekend June 29-30 at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Connects Heritage, Health, and Wellness

On June 29-30 citizens of the American Abenaki community will gather at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont to celebrate their history and heritage, and all are welcome! Organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, in partnership with the Abenaki Arts & Education Center. This free, family-friendly event is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Throughout the weekend there will be activities for all ages. Children and adults alike should not miss storytelling and book-signing by celebrated Abenaki author, musician and historian Joseph Bruchac on Saturday. All weekend, bring a picnic lunch. Enjoy singing and drumming by the Nulhegan Drum. A table hosted by the Abenaki Toddler Group welcomes families to stop by for storytelling, drumming, and free children’s books. Visitors can also participate in animal-tracking games and visit the “make and take” table.

Inspired by our three-year Storytelling Project, the VAAA’s Waolowzi Health and Wellness committee encourages the healing that is possible through community projects connecting with cultural heritage, arts, and education. VAAA has partnered with Abenaki Health and Heritage Inc. and Haven Heritage Productions to publish Always Coming Home, a graphic novel about an Abenaki family in the 1880s.

A new special exhibit, Deep Roots, Strong Branches, will open during Heritage Weekend in the Schoolhouse Gallery, and will be on view all season. “Abenaki culture is a complex network of people, places, relationships and ceremony that links the people with the living land,” says curator Vera Sheehan. “For this exhibit we have selected artwork and stories by contemporary American Abenaki artists that illustrate the resilience of the region’s Indigenous people.”

One of the highlights is the Native Arts Marketplace of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, where visitors can talk to artists, watch craft demonstrations, and purchase outstanding beadwork, paintings, jewelry, wampum, woodwork, leatherwork, drums, and other items. “The variety and quality of the work created by our Abenaki artists is outstanding,” said Vera Sheehan, Executive Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. If you are looking to purchase a special gift or something new for your collection, be sure to visit the Native Arts Marketplace.”

VAAA’s Waolowzi Health and Wellness committee has partnered with the Open Door Clinic and Vermont Department of Health to host a pop-up clinic on site all weekend offering check-ups, referrals, and advice.

Special thanks to Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for hosting this annual celebration since 2007, and Vermont Department of Health for their support. For more information on Abenaki Heritage Weekend, visit: AbenakiArt.org/abenaki-heritage-weekend.

June 29-30 – Abenaki Heritage Weekend. At Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT