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Abenaki and Vermont Native People

People of the Dawn

“We acknowledge the traditional, ancestral, and unceded land of the Abenaki people on which we are worshiping, praying, and celebrating today. We honor the Abenaki people who have been living and working on this land from time immemorial. We recognize that colonialism and the oppression of Native peoples is a current and ongoing process, and we commit to building our awareness of our present participation. And so, we give thanks for those who have come before us, honoring the legacy of Vermont’s Indigenous people, the Abenaki People of the Dawn. We are grateful for the care and sharing of this land.” – Excerpt from the liturgy of the 187th Diocesan Convention of The Episcopal Church in Vermont (October 26, 2019)

Vermont’s Abenaki Bands

Each of Vermont’s Abenaki communities hosts a rich website full of interesting information on the tribe’s history, traditions, language, stories, governance, education, powwows and other events, and much more.

Visit these websites for more information:

  • Elnu Abenaki Tribe: Elnu is an Abenaki Tribe based in Southern Vermont. We work to continue our cultural heritage through historical research, lectures and school programs, oral storytelling, singing, dancing and traditional craft making. Our primary focus is ensuring that our traditions carry on to our children. We are traditionalists trying to maintain our culture in a modern society. Learning from the past creates a better future for all.
  • Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe: The mission of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation is to strengthen our government; to build our community, and ensure sustainability; to protect our customs and traditions; and to revive our culture and celebrate our heritage while haring it with those around us. N’dakinna (our homeland) is nestled among the lakes, rivers, and forests of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Our connection to this land cannot be described in any language. It is our birthright and obligation to advocate for our ancestral territory so that its uniqueness and beauty will be protected for the generations to come.
  • Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation: The Koasek Abenaki is an autonomous band of Abenaki families of what is now called the Western Abenaki Tribes, which have been recognized by the State of Vermont. The Koasek Abenaki people are the native inhabitants of central and northwest New Hampshire and northeast and central Vermont.
  • Abenaki Nation of Missiquoi: The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi is a Native American Tribe and First Nation located in Swanton, Vermont. The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi mission is to engage in efforts which will promote and sustain a strong, healthy, and united community for the members of the Abenaki Nation. It is further our purpose to improve the quality of life for the tribal members we serve by identifying, addressing, and working to decrease gaps in service and treatment across the spectra of health, human, and social services.

Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs 

The Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs is charged by law to recognize the historic and cultural contributions of Native Americans in Vermont, to protect and strengthen Native American heritage, and to address needs in state policy, programs, and actions. The Commission provides technical assistance on the application process for state recognition of Native American Indian tribes and reviews the documentation of applicants. The Commission develops policies and programs to benefit Vermont’s Native American Indian population. Learn More

Musée des Abénakis (Abenaki Museum)

Founded in 1965 by community members and missionary Rémi Dolan, the Abenaki Museum is the first Aboriginal museum institution in Quebec. Located in the old Catholic school of Odanak, along the Saint-François River, the Museum invites you to discover the cultural richness of the Abenakis First Nation. The Museum invites you to visit permanent and temporary exhibitions with Aboriginal themes and to participate in cultural and educational discovery activities. Visit the Musée des Abénakis website.

Vermont Folklife Center

Founded in 1984, the Vermont Folklife Center is a nationally-known folklife education organization that uses ethnography—study of cultural experience through interviewing, participation and observation—to strengthen the understanding of the cultural and social fabric of Vermont’s diverse communities. Visit the Abenaki of Vermont section of the VFC website.

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