|Vermont Indigenous Celebration
|The Vermont Indigenous Celebration
In The News.
|© 2009 Vermont Indigenous Celebration
Celebrating Champlain: Vt. Indigenous Celebration
July 9, 2009
This year's celebrations of Lake Champlain are
cross-cultural. Events are honoring Vermont, Canada,
France and the people who lived here before Samuel de
Champlain explored Lake Champlain 400 years ago.
The various branches of the Abenaki people have been
in this region for at least 10,000 years, far before
Samuel de Champlain showed up. And they worked well
with French settlers, though they were at war with other
native peoples. At Burlington's celebration of Lake
Champlain the Vermont Abenaki have a large presence.
The 1609-style encampment alongside the ECHO
lakefront science center is a showcase of Abenaki
culture-- featuring living history demonstrations. Also
there will be dancing, singing, prayers, storytelling and
more. The Abenaki far pre-date European settlers.
"Being here is an amazing experience, spending four
days on the lake, because my ancestors have lived
upon the lake and died upon its shores for thousands
and thousands of years," said Vera Longtoe Sheehan of
the Vermont Indigenous Celebration.
Activities are inside Echo, too. There are peace belts
with beads made from shell; just one way the Abenaki
are celebrating Champlain with visitors this weekend.
"To take away something they can respect, and honor
people's different traditions, which I think is really
important," said Linda Longtoe, an Abenaki crafter.