Abenaki Heritage Weekend Celebrates Tribe's History And Culture

Jun 28, 2015

A festival this weekend celebrates the heritage of some of New England's native peoples. The Abenaki Heritage Weekend is held at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes.

Don Stevens, the chief of the Nulhegan band of the Abenaki, says he hopes the event will teach people about what he calls "the original Vermonters."

"And I'm hoping that, you know, by people seeing this, being educated about it, they become more accepting," Stevens said. "You know, 'cause people are always afraid [of], 'Oh my God, the casinos, land claims' and all these other things. But that's not what we're about. We're about culture. We're about holding our head up high to be proud as a minority people in Vermont."

The event, on June 27 & 28, highlights Abenaki food, music and dancing. It also includes a historical encampment depicting native life here in the 18th century.