The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Museum program to focus on Northeastern Indigenous peoples
Event will explore native arts, traditions, stories, language
ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum will be hosting a day of stories and songs with the Nehantic Native Nation and the Elnu Abenaki Tribe next month.
The outdoor event is planned for Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the waterfront lawn at the foot of Main Street.
Both the Abenaki and Nehantic have inhabited New England for thousands of years, according to a press release. The Abenaki Tribe is the original natives of Northern New England and The Nehantics moved throughout the lower Connecticut River Valley and Pawcatuck Rivers, it said.
“We look forward to bringing together artists, speakers, and musicians from both the Abenaki and Nehantic nations,” David Brule of the Nolumbeka Project said in a prepared statement.
The nonprofit organization, based in Greenfield, Massachusetts, has a mission to honor Northeastern Tribal Heritage.
The day will be centered on Indigenous arts, traditions, stories and language. Films, including one about the making and use of a mishoon, a dug-out canoe, will be on permanent loop throughout the day, the news release said.
Multiple presentations, including a talk about native migration along the river, a time-honored native drum group, and a traditional Ash Bark and White Pine basketry demonstration are scheduled. The Connecticut River Museum’s reproduction dug-out canoe will be on display to event attendees.
“The Nolumbeka Project envisions a Connecticut River Valley where the histories, cultures, and persistence of Northeastern Indigenous peoples are recognized and celebrated, and where all beings are recognized as sharing a mutual existence in an environment of balance and reciprocity,” the release said. Event collaborators are the Nehantic Native Nation, Elnu Abenaki, Connecticut River Museum, The Nolumbeka Project and Essex Historical Society.
The free public event has limited seating available. Go to ctrivermuseum.org for information.