History Kit: Abenaki in Vermont

items from the Abenaki history lending kit

This kit explores the history and present status of the Abenaki in Vermont. It delves into commonly held stereotypes about Native Americans, examines Abenaki life before the arrival of Europeans, explores the changing cultures of Europeans and Abenaki as they came into contact, and discusses the "disappearance" and re-emergence of Abenaki culture over the past two hundred years.

The kit includes:

  • A map of the early Abenakis' view of the world, an Abenaki language teaching cassette, and a cassette and books of Abenaki stories.
  • Artifacts that show what life was like for early Native Americans, such as a reproduction of a mastodon tooth, a real painted deerskin, projectile points, wampum beads for trading, and a broken piece of early Abenaki pottery.
  • Examples of items that the Abenaki encountered and traded for following their contact with Europeans such as a reproduction cross medallion, a metal trade medallion, pieces of broadcloth, and metal fish hook.
  • Handmade Abenkai items that were used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as pieces for the tourist trade, such as a sweetgrass basket and woven bookmark. This section also focuses on several generations of the Obomsawin family, who acted as wilderness guides and made their living from the lake as their early ancestors had, and whose descendants still live in Vermont today.
  • A Reference Section provides books, posters, videos, and CDs for additional background information and materials for student research.

For each section of the history kit, the Teacher's Guide provides teaching objectives, a list of related artifacts, images and stories, activities, background information, and discussion questions.

All kits are available for a monthly lending period for a fee of $80.00 (round-trip shipping), $55.00 (one-way shipping) or $30.00 (you pick up at VHS). For more information see History Kits.

Funding for this kit provided through the generosity of:
The Frances R. Dewing Foundation
International Paper, Springhill Papers Division
The Robert Fleming and Jane Howe Patrick Foundation

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