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Learn about the Abenaki June 27-28

FERRISBURGH — The Abenaki people of Vermont will celebrate their vibrant history and culture at Abenaki Heritage Weekend at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh on Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, June 28, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is a fun-filled weekend of music, dance, storytelling, history and art, presented in partnership with the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.
“There’s something for everyone at the annual Abenaki Heritage Weekend,” says Vera Longtoe Sheehan, director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA), who coordinates the Native Arts Marketplace. Visitors can meet the artists and watch demonstrations of jewelry making, basket making, and other skills. Some of the items for sale will include baskets, wampum, carvings, drums, rattles, T-shirts, jewelry and books. Jim Taylor will demonstrate how to make wampum beads from shell, while Sheehan weaves a wampum belt similar to those in the “Parley and Protocol” exhibit.
There will be traditional Abenaki music and dance performances by the Voices of the Koas, Nulhegan Drum and the Circle of Courage Youth Group. Firepit cooking and other traditional life skills will be demonstrated at a historic encampment area.
History buffs will enjoy the special exhibit, “Parley and Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past and Present,” opening on Sunday morning. Companion programs include a panel discussion, titled “Living History,” led byMelody Walker, adjunct professor at Johnson State College, and opportunities to meet the artists whose work is in the exhibit.
Vermont Community Foundation announced this week that it gave the LCMM a $2,000 Small and Inspiring grant that will help defray expenses of the Abenaki presenters this weekend. Eloise Beil, LCMM director of collections and exhibits, said the museum was grateful to be able to, for the first time, reimburse those from the Abenaki community who make the weekend a success.
“If we can give even a modest contribution toward their travel expenses that is very helpful,” Beil said.
All activities and demonstrations are included with museum admission. Find more information at www.lcmm.org, on Facebook, or by phone at 802-475-2022.

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