Gov. Phil Scott recently proclaimed May 1 through 5 Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week and he also signed legislation that removes Columbus Day from the list of official state holidays, and replaces it with a new holiday, Indigenous Peoples' Day. The Ethan Allen Homestead Museum in Burlington held a week of activities to kick off their new exhibit, "Vermont Abenakis: A Living Heritage," which was designed and installed by Alnôbaiwi, an intertribal organization dedicated to revitalizing and honoring Abenaki and Indigenous culture. The artwork and clothing on display will be removed for ceremonies on occasion, and the exhibit will change over time.
We spoke to members of the Alnôbaiwi about the presence of the Abenakis in the state and the importance of retaining their history and culture. The group hopes to build a Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center in the Intervale to recognize the mark of the Abenakis on this land, long before Ethan Allen arrived.
Watch this video to hear Dr. Frederick Wiseman, author and curator of this exhibit, sharing a timeline of the Abenaki in this area over the centuries, discussing Abenaki life in the Intervale and the evolution of their relationship with the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum.
Shooting date: 5/5/19