Background

The Abenaki Arts & Education Center (AAEC) was founded by Vera Longtoe Sheehan in 2017 but its roots are much older. When Vera became the Director for the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA) she immediately began the “Arts & Education” initiative which quickly outgrew VAAA’s mission.

With more than 25 years as an Educator, Longtoe Sheehan knew Abenaki history and living culture were not taught in schools and she realized she had to correct that problem. While in Grad school she studied the problem of Abenaki Erasure from history. The solution she envisioned was a placed-based cultural center of the future. She filled AAEC with digital resources and offers virtual Abenaki programs. Using a combination of Decolonization theory, Indigenous Research, and Online Instructional Design Methodologies, she worked with her community on the Abenaki Arts & Education Center (2018) which was her capstone project for her Masters Degree. She was awarded the Dean’s Medal for her work as an embedded scholar.

Today, Abenaki Arts & Education Center continues to grow as more resources are added regularly. We offer a variety of virtual and live engagements for classrooms, as well as cultural competency, land acknowledgement, and DEIA programs for your corporate lunches and events.

Accomplishments

In 2017 the Abenaki Arts & Education Center was conceptualized as an digital education center with a dream to make Abenaki curriculum, resources, and programs available to everyone. Since that time we have celebrated many accomplishments, a few of which are outlined below with links

Virtual Programs for all ages (upon request)

Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom (PAC Teacher Training) – During the Summer of 2017 our Team embarked on a formal journey to educate teachers. PAC began as a one day teacher training, at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, with funding from the Vermont Humanities Council and developed into a three month immersion into Abenaki culture. The course is now offered through a partnership with Castleton University.

Curriculum – Since 2017, AAEC has developed many curriculum materials that are ready to plug and play in your classroom

Coloring Sheets and activity sheets for early childhood education have been developed by Abenaki artists and educators. Appropriate for various age groups and learning styles.

YouTube Channel – The Abenaki Arts & Education YouTube channel is becoming the hub for digital assets created through partnerships between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center (AAEC). Launched on April 21, 2021.

Facebook – We launched the Abenaki Arts & Education Facebook page on March 31, 2021.

Abenaki-edu Moodle (Online Learning Management System) for teaching online courses launched in 2019 and we welcomed our first online class in September 2020.