MONTPELIER, Vt. — All are welcome to attend a free virtual Abenaki speaker series this spring, hosted by the Community College of Vermont (CCV). The series is part of CCV’s ongoing effort to honor the Abenaki people, who originally stewarded the land on which the College’s 12 academic centers are located.

“We are pleased to have three accomplished members of Vermont’s Abenaki community joining us this spring,” said CCV President Joyce Judy. “Our hope is that these conversations will help to illuminate stories that have been overshadowed and open the door to constructive dialogue in our College and local communities.”

The following speakers will present:

Jesse Bowman Bruchac, Abenaki Creation Story, Language, and Culture, February 18, 5-6 p.m. Jesse Bowman Bruchac is a member of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe. He is a traditional storyteller, musician, and Abenaki language instructor. He works as co-director of his family run education center Ndakinna, where he teaches Native American Life Ways, Martial Arts, and the Abenaki language. He has lectured at Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton, and is also the Director of the School of Abenaki, which is part of Middlebury Language Schools. He has written and published several bilingual books, and recordings in the language.

Don Stevens, History of Abenaki in Vermont, Sovereignty, and Recognition, March 18, 5-6 p.m.
Don Stevens, Chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk – Abenaki Nation, is an award-winning leader, businessman, writer, and lecturer. He has been featured in magazines, books, TV shows, and documentaries. Don was appointed to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs by Governor Douglas in 2006 for two terms where he served as Chair. He led the fight to obtain legal recognition for the Abenaki People in Vermont. He was able to acquire tribal land for the Nulhegan Tribe which had been absent for over 200 years. He has over 26 years of experience in successfully developing Information Technology, Logistics, and Manufacturing strategies for multi-million-dollar companies. He proudly served in the US Army and graduated from Champlain College with a degree in Computer Information Systems.

Melody Walker Brook, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Healing, and the Path Forward, April 15, 5-6 p.m.
Melody Walker Brook is an Abenaki educator, activist, and artist. She is a citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Band and has previously served as the vice chair and chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. She received her master’s degree in history from the University of Vermont. She has been an adjunct professor at both Champlain College and Johnson State College where she taught Native American History and Culture, Abenakis and Their Neighbors, and Native American Spirituality. Within her community, Melody has focused on cultural revitalization and concepts of personhood. She is a fingerweaver, beadworker, traditional tattoo artist, and interprets belts. Melody lives in Barre, Vermont.

All events will be held on Zoom. For more information and to register, visit ccv.edu/speakerseries.

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