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ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series, FREE on Tuesdays March 24 – May 5

From cooking rocks to the latest archaeological finds, landscape changes to cultural stories, ECHO’s INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series enables visitors to ask questions of experts about the artifacts, foods, and stories of the native people as portrayed in our exhibit. ECHO's Quadricentennial experience features archaeological and interactive exhibits, events, speakers, and a contemporary indigenous peoples’ Portrait Gallery, all celebrating the vibrant past and future of our Native neighbors.

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. ECHO will be open for FREE public viewing of our exhibit INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS: Native Peoples of the Lake Champlain Basin

4:30 – 5:15 p.m. Speaker

5:15 – 6:00 p.m. Questions and Light refreshments


Tuesday, March 24, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Cooking Rocks. Join Charles Paquin, Archaeologist, as he discusses some of these questions: What is the perfect cooking rock? What do rocks tell us about how Native Americans cooked their foods and what foods they cooked? What archaeological objects are found in a Native American hearth?


Tuesday, March 31, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Indigenous Identity in the 21st Century Green Mountain State.  Join Dr. Fred Wiseman, Abenaki Historian, as he addresses key questions: Unlike any other minority, Native Americans cannot self-identify, but must have their identity bestowed upon them by the government. So who is a Vermont Indian?  Why can’t Indigenous Abenaki Indians sell their arts and crafts as “made by American Indians?” What does one have to do to maintain a Native American identity in the 21st century? On this 400th anniversary of the European Discovery of Lake Champlain, there is still little agreement among politicians, scholars, and Indians themselves about who the Vermont Abenakis really are. Professor Wiseman looks at the underlying issues involved with Vermont’s understanding of its indigenous peoples.  Illustrating his talk with clips from his 2006 movie “Against the Darkness,” he explores the identity politics that still bedevil relations and between the larger Abenaki community and their Vermont neighbors, and offers some tentative solutions to this thorny problem in Northeastern race relations. 

Tuesday, April 7, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Forests of Pre-Settlement Lake Champlain Basin. Join Charlie Cogbill, Historic Forest Ecologist, as he addresses key questions: What would the landscape of pre-settlement Lake Champlain Basin look like and how have human influences changed our natural communities? How did surveyors divide the earliest settler lots? What is a “witness tree?”

Tuesday, April 14, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: The First People.  Join John Crock, UVM, Director, Consulting Archaeology Program (CAP), as he discusses from his chapter in the book: “Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History.” Since the ice age, humans have been a constant feature of the landscape in the Lake Champlain Basin. What is it that archaeologists have found in the region that help tell the story of settlement in this area? What has been found that helps to tell about their nomadic lifestyle? Book signing.

Tuesday, April 21, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Early People & Plants. Join Kit Anderson, UVM, Ethnobiologist, as she addresses key questions: What can plants tell us about the earliest people? How were people’s diet changed by weather? What plants were used as exports or adopted by First Nations people? 

Tuesday, April 28, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Film Highlights.  Join Abenaki historian and film producer, Dr. Fred Wiseman, as he shows clips and tells stories of his film “1609: The Other Side of History” about the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French from a Native perspective.

Tuesday, May 5, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS Speaker Series: Film Highlights. Join Peabody Award-winner Ted Timreck, with highlights of his film “Before the Lake was Champlain.” This ground breaking film documents the long and careful process that has unfolded one of the great archaeological mysteries of North America while exploring the cultural and environmental history of the Basin from the receding glaciers to the coming of Europeans in 1609

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