Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the start of a new school year, we have moved the start date of this course to mid-September.

Course Details

Course NamePresenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom
InstructorsVera Sheehan
Director of Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center
Lina Longtoe
Environmental scientist and Program Coordinator for Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
Course CoordinatorElizabeth Lee
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
DatesParticipants will attend 8 Zoom class sessions on Sundays from 1-4 PM: 
– September 13, 20, 27
– October 4, 11, 18, 25
– November 1
Makeup sessions will be added in November if needed
Credit3 credits through Castleton University
TuitionEarly Bird Discount for the first 10 registrants:
$855 standard / $1305 with credit

Standard tuition: $950 standard / $1400 with credit
Size30 participants maximum

Course Description

Music, history and archaeology, weaving, social justice issues, and heirloom plants . . .

Through a combination of online lectures and experiential learning, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Abenaki Arts & Education Center scholars, historians, and culture bearers will present this vibrant regional culture that reaches back nearly 13,000 years and continues today.

Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom, now in its fourth year, provides teachers and homeschoolers a deeper understanding of how Indigenous culture continues to thrive in  the 21st century. Sessions include history and stereotypes; new resources being developed for use in classrooms and online; age-appropriate activities; and how teachers can better support Abenaki and other Native students while presenting American history and additional academic content areas. The program also includes a virtual exploration of the exhibit Nebizun: Water is Life.  Join us to  learn about Abenaki culture, discuss the “Flexible Pathways” initiative, and explore new resources and techniques that help students in all settings

Presented in online course format for the first time, this course is an academically rigorous course that will be presented through 24 hours of required online class meetings and 21 hours of independent study. In addition, participants will have coursework to prepare for class meetings that they should expect to spend 8-10 hours on weekly. Participants will meet for eight required online classes (see dates above). Each online class session will meet for three hours on Sundays.

Course participants are expected to complete approx. 30 pages of required reading before the first class and will be given a syllabus with weekly assignments and activities. Our class projects include one reflection essay completed at the start of this course and one final paper to be submitted by December 15, 2020. See below for the pre-reading list – required and recommended texts. This course is presented through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Abenaki Arts & Education Center and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Required Reading

Calloway, Colin G. The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800: War, Migration and the Survival of an Indian People. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.

Parker, Trudy Ann. Aunt Sarah: Woman of the Dawnland. Lancaster, NH: Dawnland Publications, 1994.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Longon, UK.: Zed Books, Ltd (Please note – there are two editions of this book. If you wish to purchase the book, the second edition can be purchased through or you may read a digital version of the first edition at:

Wiseman, Frederick Matthew. At Lake Between: the Great Council Fire and the European Discovery of Lake Champlain. Vergennes, VT: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2009.

Wiseman, Frederick M. Reclaiming the Ancestors: Decolonizing a Taken Prehistory of the Far Northeast. University Press of New England. 2005.