Tag Archives: DebReger

2019 Moccasin Tracks Updates, Links To Interviews And Announcements


Moccasin Tracks is a radio show featuring “pre-american” ie: Original Peoples perspectives and music (traditional and contemporary) live interviews ,news including National Native News (nv1.org). We often say we are holding space for the indigenous perspective. It is the work of decolonizing and reindigenizing with Earth as Mother and all life as family that inspires Moccasin Tracks. We acknowledge the area we broadcast from as N’Dakinna, the ancestral homeland of the Abenaki Peoples. Rebroadcasts include First Voices Radio with host Tiokasin Ghosthorse http://www.firstvoicesindigenousradio.org (Pacifica Radio Network) and National Native News with host Antonia Gonzalas from Native Voice One (NV1.org) We are currently on air with WRUV FM Burlington at 90.1FM and wruv.org where show is archived week to week Fridays Noon-2PM.
Find Moccasin Tracks page on Facebook.com

We are also creating and archiving events with the various Abenaki Bands, individuals and support groups with the Onion River Access Media where we have produced editions of Moccasin Tracks for Vermont cable TV. (www.orcamedia.net)

contact us at wruv.moccasintracks@gmail.com New Music with Crazy Flute and interview with Jack Crazy Flute Listen here:https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2018-12-28T09_29_54-08_00  and here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/communityradiowithdeb/episodes/2019-01-19T05_41_04-08_00 we play music by Crazy Flute too! 61G6Dn103HL._SR600,315_PIWhiteStrip,BottomLeft,0,35_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg268x0w copy 2.jpg


https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2018-11-26T04_27_14-08_00  In this podcast Chenae Bullock gifts us with story about her Canoe Journey and local organizing to protect ancestors, land and water.


https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb2/episodes/2019-01-06T04_56_52-08_00  In this podcast we are visited by Hears Crow who shares story and storytelling opportunities.

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/radiowithdeb4/episodes/2019-02-02T07_25_33-08_00 Evan Pritchard join us on air for lots of stories..39f900c0.jpg

We also had a wonderful conversation with journalist, author Tracy Hentz and you can go here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/communityradiowithdeb/episodes/2019-01-19T04_54_00-08_00

For the month of Feb we have guests confirmed  Jimi Brink (Abenaki) on Feb 15 as well as Bird Runningwater to talk about the Indigenous Program from Sundance Institute.  We’re also hoping to talk with storyteller Darlene Kascak (Schaghticoke).  Melissa Otis will join us March 1 to talk about her recently published book,”Rural Indigenousness A History of Iroquoian And Algonquin Peoples Of The Adirondacks”.  And we are working on a program to highlight Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence possibly Feb 22.  Tune in Fridays from noon-2PM(EST) at wruv.org and 90.1FM locally. Thank-you WRUV FM Burlington for hosting Moccasin Tracks and making archives!

Bonus: from 1937 Wisconsin Archeologist

W&er Monster Inhabited Lakes of Wisconsin 27

Dorothy Moulding Brown

In Wisconsin Indian Place Legends, a booklet recently published by the Folklore Section of the Wisconsin Federal Writers’ Project, there are a number of aboriginal legends connected with the Wisconsin and Rock Rivers and Lakes Winnebago, Koshkonong, Green, Thunder, and other lakes in which water monsters figure more or less prominently. No one knows how old some of these myths may be. Doubtless, most of them go back into the past for a hundred years, several hundred years, or an even longer period of time. All of our Wisconsin tribesmen appear to have firmly believed that in the many lakes and water courses in their tribal domains and hunting grounds all over Wisconsin there were present animal water demons of a very fierce and destructive nature.

Some of these mythical water monsters were huge snakes, great turtles, monster fish, bears, beavers, or pan- ther-like animals, the latter often known by the name of water spirits.

These water animals lived in dens or lairs at the bottoms of lakes and streams and the very superstitious red men believed them responsible for many of the water phenomena such as storms on water, waterspouts, rapids, and whirl- pools. They were responsible for the overturning of birch- bark or dugout canoes and for the drowning of swimmers. Such victims were often carried down by the water mon- sters into their dens and there devoured or ‘imprisoned, their bodies to be later released. .Such beliefs are still cur- rent among many Indians in W,isconsin. .

In @assingby or over waters’ believed or known to be inhabited by these water spiri’ts, Indian canoemen paused to cast handfuls of kinnikinnik, or Indian tobacco, upon their surfaces to quiet and obtain the good will of these denizens. Such strange proceedings have been mentioned

28 WISCONSIN ARCHEOLOGIST Vol. 17, No.2 by early French fur traders and other travelers and were

also told to other white men by the Indians themselves.

Among other lakes and streams-not already mentioned -which these water monsters were known to inhabit were Lac du Flambeau, the Chain o’ Lakes at Waupaca, Shawano Lake, Okauchee Lake, Poygan Lake, and Devils Lake. Ac- cording to the Chippewa Indians an evil spirit lodges in the waters of Manitowish River, hence its name.

The water panthers, called by the Winnebago, Wakteci, have been described as huge, long-tailed animals with horns on their heads, large fiery eyes, and powerful jaws and claws. At night they came out on the river or lake banks. “Only a few Indians have ever seen them and some persons have become demented by seeing them.”

When Earthmaker created the world he thrust four of these water spirits through it to keep the globe from re- volving and.to quiet it.

On the north shore of Lake Mendota, opposite Gover- nors Island at Madison, is a known Indian den of a group of these underwater panthers. They have been held re- sponsible for a number of drownings which have taken place here in recent years–of both Indians and white men.

These water spirits do not always remain a t this station; some of them roam about the lake searching for possible victims.

It is believed that at Mendota originated the Madison legend that for some unknown reason Lake Mendota muat each year possess the bodies of drowned white persons, Some of these were reported to have been students of the Uni- versity of Wisconsin. On old Indian who makes more or less of a busine~sof finding the bodies of drowned persons is said to have recovered several here.

The tale is told of a monster fish that lives in the deep water off Maple Bluff. This fish is supposed to be an Indian who at one time killed, roasted, and ate a spirit raccoon which he and another native had hunted, following its tracks from the northern shore of Lake Monona. For this rash act this unfortunate Indian, venturing into the

Water Monster Inhabited Lakes of Wisconsin 29 water because of a great thirst which &me upon him, was

transformed into a huge fish.

On still dark nights this monster disports itself in the water below the Bluff and may be heard beating its war drum and singing its war song. For years no Indian of the early Winnebago Tenney Park village, known as Cheedah, would venture very near this place a t any time. Those who did nearly always met with some accident.

In Wisconsin Indian legendary lore “the powerful thun- derbirds” and the water spirits were often at war with each other. Devils Lake obtained its evil name Tawahcunchuk- dahCacred Lake–from a battle of this nature which once took place here. The Thunderers shot their “arrows”

(thunderbolts) down into the water and the water spirits threw great columns of water and jagged boulders into the air to combat their enemies. Thus the rocky bluffs surrounding this beautifur lake were rent and tumbled about as they now are.

A young Indian hunter who ventured near was promised a reward by the water spirits if he would shoot and kill some of the Thunderers, but the Thunderers also promised him a reward if he would destroy some of the water mon- sters. Not wishing to offend either spirit band, the young hunter wisely departed from the scene.

In Potawatomi and Winnebago Indian days a terrible water monster in the form of a fish ranged over the whole course of the Rock River, from the vicinity of present Beloit to the foot of Lake Koshkonong.

In the early spring the presence of this terror was known by the manner in which he had, in a mad rage, broken up the ice in the stream. Some Indians believe that he still occasionally reappears in his old haunts along this river.

A Menomini legend of Sturgeon Bay tells of two Indian girls who, while playing on the sands, were lured down into the waters of the Bay by a big hairy snake. Their father found their footprints on the sandy shore and guessed what had happened to his daughters. With the help of Manabus


and the Thunderers the girls were released from the wig- wam of the monster and safely returned to their sorrowing parents.

In Lake Winnebago there lived a very large fish, prob- ably a sturgeon, with a large appetite for moose, elk, and deer. It caught these in the channel of the lake inlet and devoured horns, hide, hoofs, and all. One day some Win- nebago found this large fish floating on the surface of the water; it was dead. Searching for the cause, they found the branching antler of an elk protruding from its side. The fish swallowed the elk but had been unable to digest the antler.

Inhabiting Lake Koshkonong was a water monster of great power and terrible form. Two Indian boys once set out on this lake in canoes. The canoes were capsized and later the bodies of the boys were found floating in the lake. There was white clay in their ears and nostrils, a sure Indian sign that the water monster had caught and drawned them.

At Green Lake “more than a thousand years ago” a Sioux war party which had come by canoe to attack the Winnebago villages was destroyed by water spirits friendly- to the Winnebago. The latter caused the canoes to be caught in a large whirlpool which they created and to be sucked down into the lake. Thus the Winnebago villages were saved.

A huge serpent formed the bed of the Wisconsin River by wriggling down from the forests of Northern Wisconsin toward the Mississippi River. All other serpents fled be- fore this monster. The large serpent in his course burst through walls of solid rock forming the Wisconsin Dells.

In Thunder Lake a Thunder bird is imprisoned by a water spirit who vanquished him during a struggle while the bird was trying to carry him a~way. The bird is still there.

In a lake near Peshtigo is the den of a great white bear, the king of all bears. This lake, the Indians believe, is the window of a nearby mountain. Through this window the
























Abenaki Musician, Bryan Blanchette Will Be Broadcasting With Moccasin Tracks, December 7, 2018

We are excited to announce that Bryan Blanchette will be visiting with us on Dec 7.  We will be broadcasting from the air studio at WRUV FM Burlington from Noon-2PM (EST) at wruv.org and 90.1FM locally.  We have featured the music of the Black Hawk Singers and original songs by Bryan Blanchette previously on Moccasin Tracks.  Last January we made a video with the Black Hawk Singers and others from the WRUV studio here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-2b3cPaRPY

We also love to air Bryan’s station ID he recorded, “you are listening to Moccasin Tracks..” and often open Moccasin Tracks with a song from his album, Just For The Fun Of It or New Songs For The Abenaki.  Here is another video of the Black Hawk Singers at the Saratoga Native American Festival, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPEsObqHFX4

Here is a wonderful Bio written by Gali Sanchez for Bryan.0-4.jpg

“It is said that if you sit by the rivers of New England, you can hear the songs of the ancestors, the Abenaki, carried on the wind or the rushing waters. Now there is a voice so powerful, it can honor the songs of the old ones.

Bryan Blanchette is a 21st century Abenaki artist. He brings 10,000 year old traditions into music and performance into a 21st century setting. A contemporary song may be sung in an Algonquian language, or a traditional pow wow song might be fused with a Euro American musicology. His music is the continuation of millenniums of music tradition of the land that flourished before America was America. Beautiful music and Abenaki heritage combine to create one of New England’s most original artists.

Blanchette’s musical talent is unquestioned. Whether singing at a pow wow with the Blackhawk Singers or performing solo at Vermont’s Flynn Theater, his voice makes listeners stop and take notice. A Native American Elder once told a young Bryan. “You have the voice of a warrior.” He plays multiple instruments, writes his own music and lyrics, and sings with a powerful, captivating Abenaki warrior voice.

Blanchette is a New England native and member of the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki tribe. He studied music at the world renowned Berklee College of Music. He started pow wow drumming in 1996. His group, The Blackhawk Singers are extremely popular and have performed internationally to critical acclaim. They have released two CDs. He began writing Abenaki language songs in 1998. His contemporary music has also played to critical acclaim throughout New England.”

DSCF3106Here is Bryan at a special broadcast from Brennan’s at UVM with Moccasin Tracks.0-2.jpgDSCF3172.jpgBlack Hawk Singers at Dartmouth College, 2016.0-1.jpgDSCF2770.jpgDSCF2995.JPG

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.

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. “


“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




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…

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