“Nisnol Siboal/Two Rivers: Celebrating the Waters of Ndakinna (Our Land)” is the second of twelve events in the “River Stories 2020: Recovering Indigenous Voices of the Connecticut River Valley” series sponsored by the Nolumbeka Project. It is co-hosted by the Dartmouth College Native American Studies Department and Thetford Academy and coincides with Plymouth 400 commemorating the landing of the Mayflower in 1620. How did this infamous event affect the tribes who lived along the Kwenitegok? What was their life like? What can we learn? Saturday, March 14, (snow date March 15), 1-4 p.m., Martha Jane Rich Theater, Thetford Academy, 304 Academy Rd, Thetford, VT. All welcome. Free. Donations appreciated. www.nolumbekaproject.org
For hundreds of years after the landing of the Mayflower the Indigenous people of the Northeast were forced into hiding to survive the encroaching colonialization. They blended into the dominant culture or assimilated into tribes outside the region to survive. Many assumed all the Indians of the Northeast were dead. The history taught by mainstream educators was based on the religious, racial, and cultural biases of the settlers and their descendants. The landing of the Mayflower symbolizes the beginning of systemic genocide which continued across the continent for centuries, massacre after epidemic after removal after forced sterilization, attempting to wipe out all traces of the advanced and sustainable cultures that thrived here for 12,000 years. But they are still here!
Hear stories about the persistence and resilience of members of one of the Connecticut River Valley tribes from representatives of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk – Abenaki Nation including Chief Don Stevens, Joseph and Jesse Bruchac, and singer-songwriter Bryan Blanchette.
Chief Don Stevens is an award-winning leader, businessman, writer, and lecturer. He was appointed to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs by Governor Douglas in 2006 for two terms where he served as Chair in his second term. He helped lead the fight to obtain legal recognition for the Abenaki People in Vermont who were recognized by the Vermont Legislature in 2011.
For over forty years Joseph Bruchac has been creating literature and music that reflect his Indigenous heritage and traditions and is the author of more than 120 books. He has shared traditional tales of the Native peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands widely in Europe and throughout the United States
Jesse Bowman Bruchac is a traditional storyteller, musician, and Abenaki language instructor. He works as co-director of his family run education center Ndakinna. He has also acted as consultant, translator, composer, and language coach for programs on AMC, National Geographic, and PBS.
Bryan Blanchette is an Abenaki singer/songwriter, and Berklee College of Music alumni who has been singing on the North East Powwow drum circuit for over twenty years with his drum group the Black Hawk Singers.
This event is sponsored by the Nolumbeka Project, Mascoma Bank, The Babson 2020 Fund of the Peace Development Fund, Thetford Academy, the Dartmouth College Native American Studies Department, The Lyme Inn, Great River Hydro, and the Connecticut River Conservancy.
The ability to offer the programs to everyone with no cost for admission makes it possible for our Indigenous presenters to reach and teach thousands of people, especially during this pivotal year coinciding with Plymouth 400. This is a huge undertaking for our small but very dedicated all volunteer non-profit. To put it in perspective, did you know that Plymouth 400 had the third float in line at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade on New Year Day? https://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/…/video-mayflower-float-ge… AND https://www.foxla.com/video/639535. River Stories 2020 is a big deal, too, with a much smaller budget. If you are able, please help fund the series which officially starts this weekend. All will be used to compensate the presenters and pay for the venues, advertising, etc. Donations of any amount are appreciated. https://www.givegab.com/…/river-stories-2020-d79211e2-dfac-…