Nine people are together in a garden, some are sitting on rocks, arranged in a semi-circle facing two women standing.

Practicing Allyship with Abenaki Communities

By Susan Evans McClure, Executive Director

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum sits on the homeland and unceded territory of the Abenaki people. The Abenaki have been in this region since time immemorial and continue to be a thriving Indigenous culture in this region.

The Museum is proud to support the work of Vermont’s Abenaki community, and we have worked in partnership with the Abenaki for several years. Through programs like Abenaki Heritage Weekend, through teacher trainings like Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom, and with exhibits by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association on site in the stone schoolhouse, the Museum deeply values the work that Vermont’s Abenaki community does to share their culture with the public.

Recently, the Abenaki Arts and Education Center hosted a discussion with panelists from several Abenaki cultural organizations on the importance of allyship in the field of outdoor education. Panelists Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Sherry Gould, Chan Crawford, and Rich Holschuh engaged in a complex and fascinating discussion about the place-based work of outdoor education and the importance of respecting, highlighting, and honoring the role of Indigenous communities.

I hope you will watch it, and learn along with us as we work to be good allies to Vermont’s Abenaki community.