Tag Archives: DebReger

2018 Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project

DSCF4442We have recently posted Part 3 of this series and wanted to again share this wonderful project from the Committee on the Vermont Commission On Native American Affairs.(www.vcnaa.vermont.gov) Here is the link to Part 3 from the recording and videoing by Moccasin Tracks producer, Deb Reger.  please write to us at wruv.moccasintracks@gamil.com

 

We enjoyed the weekend recording and videoing this wonderful Spiritual Retreat, hosted at the Northwoods Stewardship Center.  We are honored to share with you this archive video; 2018 Introduction To Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J3PiTTXTKQ&t=99s

2018 Abenaki Cultural Regeneration Project Video Recording With Moccasin Tracks

Thank-you to the organizers and participants for allowing us to record and video this event. Its been over 3 years in the planning and this years retreat was a follow-up to the 2017 gathering. Please read about the ongoing efforts by the organizing committee below. Thank-you to Carol Billings McGranaghan for posting.
https://www.gofundme.com/abenaki-revitalization-project

Summary Overview:

“ Abenaki People are the original inhabitants in Vermont and have lived in these green hills for 10,000 to 12,000 years. They stayed unacknowledged or facing discrimination after colonization. For several recent generations, Abenaki People in Vermont and New Hampshire have been forced to abandon or hide their own language, customs and even their ethnic identity in order to survive within an overwhelming euro-American dominant society. The result has been a general loss of language, of culturally specific knowledge and values, and of a positive identity.
Because of the eugenics era in the first half of the twentieth century, people of Abenaki heritage were forced let go of cultural ways and hide in plain sight to protect themselves and their children from forced sterilization and institutionalization.
This project aims to reverse that process and promote healing and cultural restoration in the greater Abenaki community.Cultural Regeneration is an urgent need. One’s sense of identity is fundamental to learn in school as well as for socially healthy function. Recent history in Abenaki families has generally been negative in terms of social feedback and the stereo types have not been adequately countered by positive experiences directly related to ethnic identity. As an individual learns about the history and language of her/his grandparents, it generates deeper feelings of belonging within the culture. As an individual learns a few basic, culturally specific lifestyle skills and spiritual practices, a profound grasp of certain values is awakened. These values are directly related to one’s relationship to the environment, to the Great Web of Life, to each other in community, and to oneself as a culture-bearer. Awakening an ancient culturally-based perspective of relationship to the environment can be a life-changing, culturally affirmative, experience. Primary Abenaki values of generosity and sharing, of self-reliance, respect for Elders, the sacredness of plant medicines, the living Earth and elemental Powers, and the teachings carried by animals – all these provide strong guidance for negotiating one’s way through a materialistic society.

I would also like to share the background on the project and what has been accomplished so far.
This project was started 3 years ago by Carol Irons, a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. It is in State statute that the Commission cannot receive State money for any projects, but Commissioners can raise money through other means. Carol sent letters to several foundations but only received a small grant from one. She raised some additional money through private donations.
Last June (2 years into the project) Carol arranged to have a week-long retreat at the Northwoods Stewardship in East Charleston, Vermont. There were 7 adult Abenaki participants and 7 teachers. This was to give a basic overview of different cultural areas and included language, history, spiritual, woods lore, plant lore, flint knapping, and fire making. The goal was to “teach the teachers” so that we could go back to our communities and share what we had learned. I was a participant and can truly say it was a life changing experience for me. With the one foundation grant we received (too late to use for the week-long retreat as it had already taken place) – we were able to have a 3 day followup session for the original 7 participants in March, 2018.
I am now the Vice-Chair of the Vermont Commission of Native American Affairs and since last September I have been helping Carol to continue the project. Our goal was to have another week-long retreat this year with new Abenaki participants. Unfortunately we have not gotten funds from any of the different foundations we contacted and have not been able to raise funds from other sources. Thus our attempt at using GoFundMe.
At this point without the funding in place, we will not be able hire teachers, reserve the space, and buy educational materials in time to do a retreat this year. We will use whatever we can raise to fund a retreat next year… giving us time to work out the logistics of hiring teachers, etc.
I hope this background is helpful and I thank you for your time and consideration. “

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“With organizers from the Vermont Commission On Native American Affairs and support from the Northwoods Stewardship Center, Abenaki participants were hosted at the Northwoods and were gifted these Basic Teachings with Abenaki Elder Carol Irons. These teachings are basic understandings as many adults and youth are returning to learn these teachings and adapt to their lives. Included in this video are Basic Sacred Pipe Teachings, Smudging, Medicine Bags and Bundles and Energy Fields. Moccasin Tracks was invited by the organizers to archive this weekend event. Thank-you to participants for allowing the filming. Special thanks to the Northwoods Stewardship Center for hosting. And special thanks to the Vermont Commission On Native American Affairs for organizing, oversight and teachings. This project was privately funded with help from foundations and individuals. There is an ongoing fund raising effort to continue this project. We will be posting the next video soon on more teachings including introduction to sweat lodge, drum and power animals. Moccasin Tracks is currently heard on community and student radio at University of Vermont, WRUV FM Burlington. Find more info about our work on facebook.com/MoccasinTracks also check out website : http://www.vcnaa.vermont.gov for information about the Vermont Commission On Native American Affairs

 

 

 

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Traditional Abenaki Ash Baskets and Apprenticing with Master Artist

A Conversation With Kerry Wood and Aaron Wood On Moccasin Tracks Feb 23, 2017

We are delighted to have had an opportunity to talk with Kerry Wood and her son Aaron Wood about making baskets with traditional Abenaki techniques and values.  Both apprenticed with Master Artist Jeanne Brink and the Vermont Folklife Center Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.  Aron shares a bit about harvesting and preparing to weave the basket which he says is about 90% of the work!  dscf3769DSCF3766.JPG

Kerry tells us about the fancy work on this basket and tells us about the baskets her Great Grandmother Elvine Obomsawin and family made for their livlihood.  She says there was a time they got 5 cents for a basket!dscf3762DSCF3768.JPG

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb8/episodes/2017-02-25T08_52_09-08_00  Listen to our conversation from the live broadcast on WRUV FM Burlington.  DSCF3770.JPG

Join the Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for Abenaki Heritage Weekend, June 25-26, 2017.

Evan Pritchard Joins Us On Air With Moccasin Tracks and WRUV FM Burlington, January 19, 2017 at 1 PM

evan-p-2full-moon-feb-24-2013-014Pritchard.jpgWe were happy to find Native New Yorkers, The Legacy Of The Algonquin People Of New York at the University Of Vermont library to read about the area where there is another pipeline called unfortunately, The Pilgrim Pipeline, that would carry fossil-fuel poisons thru the traditional Algonquin Territory.

No Word For Time…
https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/podcast46833/episodes/2015-11-05T11_26_43-08_00

Many years of research by this Miʼkmaq author, professor, musician, speaker, Cultural Keeper, and advocate for the rights of the Original Peoples precedes this conversation we will have with Evan Pritchard on Jan 19, 2017 at 1PM with Moccasin Tracks on a Live interview on wruv.org and locally at 90.1FM.

A few years ago I was handed a copy of the book by Evan Pritchard, “There Is No Word For Time” (thank-you Carol Irons) and had listened to Tiokasin Ghosthorse interview Evan on First Voices Radio inspired me to check out was was in the University of Vermont Library and found Native New Yorkers Legacy of the Algonquin Peoples

The Legacy Of the Algonquin

He writes about the landscape and the original peoples of so-called New York with many references to the Wabanaki Peoples and Lenape Nation with original place names and agreements and treaties that still exist with the peoples that remain who still have the Wampum Belts that documented the Peace and Friendship Agreements. The importance of this historic writing reflects in the Living Culture that exists today with the Lenape Nation, as an example, as they try to practice their traditional way of life to protect Water and Mother Earth and resist the Pilgrim Pipeline.

The writing follows the trails and when we can see beyond the roads, bridges, dams and other development we can feel the presence of a traditional values and ways of being. We can begin to understand and respect this point of view from this Miʼkmaq man.

As preparations for a “400 year” celebration of Pilgrims in Plymouth, Mass. and Lenape people stand firm as protectors to their homelands we ask our listeners to open your hearts to listen to the real history to appreciate our responsibility to not just acknowledge but to understand and work for change that embraces a stewardship and way of life that lives in balance with Mother Earth as these original peoples did for 10,000ʼs thousands of years before European contact.

The bio-diversity that Evan Pritchard writes about in his book may be hard to imagine as the city structures of 500 years of colonization surround us today, but would behoove us to celebrate. From Standing Rock to Plymouth Rock to Split Rock stand with the living cultures today that are leading the way forward with traditions practiced that let Spirit guide.

We look forward to a conversation with Evan Pritchard on Moccasin Tracks, Jan 19, 2017 at 1PM. Tune the radio on at 90.1FM or online at wruv.org. Look to our Moccasin Tracks page on Facebook for links to interviews.no-word-for-timeevan-pritcharddscf3692dscf2565

Thank-you For The Opportunity For Community Service

DSCF2995Bringing the voices of the original peoples to the airwaves thru music and interviews continues to be our purpose,our volunteer work and for this we are thank-full to you our listeners.  Our first training for community radio broadcasting started in 2009 and the station manager at that time was Greg Hooker a veteran broadcaster that had great sensibilities and foresight into community radio broadcasting.  He told Moccasin Tracks that we would have to go out into the larger community to talk to the Abenaki peoples and soon we began that journey that continues today.  (Greg was manager at WGDR and was responsible for licensing of WGDH before he was retired)

DSCF0994We started broadcasting at WPCR FM Plymouth (NH) at the Plymouth State University with Pete Newell (Penobscot) who played lots of music and was a natural MC being part of Mountain Spirit Drum  and NH Intertribal Native American Council that organizes Pow Wows and state-wide events around Native Peoples issues and culture.  Pete played music and I rebroadcast First Voices Indigenous Radio with host Tiokasin Ghosthorse.  (we still do today)  http://www.firstvoicesindigenousradio.org

DSCF2280Ruth Wilder, shown here at WJSC FM Johnson, quickly became a regular (The Wilder Show) with Moccasin Tracks on this small station at Johnson State College.  We hosted shows together and brought live music on air and reached out into the community.  One person we interviewed was Carol Irons, an Abenaki from Albany, Vt.DSCF2646Carol began the conversation about Industrial Wind on ridgetops in Vermont, a topic we continue to follow.  Since Ruth was encouraging Moccasin Tracks to continue broadcasting around the state we arrived at WOOL FM Bellows Falls and thank the management there for supporting the original peoples voices and who welcome the use of their studio to produce community radio. Dee Bright Star and Kapiolani Laronal became co-hosts on a few shows at WOOL FM.DSCF2554WoolFM Bellows Falls is part of the Pacifica Radio Network and continues to broadcast the syndicated Moccasin Tracks show. (They also rebroadcast First Voices Radio and produce a show  called Indian Nation)

In the short review I just wanted to say thank you to you the listeners and everyone who joined us in an interview. To everyone who joined us on air and helped to host and produce Moccasin Tracks I want to thank you. To everyone who came for the first time to community radio, thank you for your perspective to the airwaves and especially to the perspectives of the original peoples. With this update we also want to announce that we will be posting soon the video project from the Wabanaki Confederacy Conference 2015 filmed at the Shelburne Farms, N’Dakinna. May your earth walk marvel with gratitude for this time we share together listening to and producing radio, stay with us and thank -you for this opportunity to be of community service. As this journey continues may your understanding move to respect for the original peoples of this area that we may learn to be Allies in a good way with the original peoples and honor the path that protects Mother Earth for all the future generations. See you on the radio.DSCF2776DSCF2838DSCF2910 DSCF3005