Education & Programs
2016 At a Glance:
- 2,368 individuals impacted by the Abbe's programs
- 25 tours were given, reaching 606 visitors traveling via cruise ships and tour buses
- 51 schools, 3174 students, and 171 teachers were educated by Abbe staff
- 18 programs held at the Museum
- 28 programs held outside the Museum
- 14 programs presented inside Acadia National Park drew a total of 1,777 visitors
This free professional development opportunity for Maine teachers on October 10, 2015, focused on how contact with European cultures has affected Wabanaki communities. It featured Passamaquoddy Tribal Member Dr. Gail Dana-Sacco, who gave a presentation titled Forever Fragile: Peaceful Tribal-State Relations and Our Collective Health.
Thanksgiving Dialogue Program
On November 24, Museum Educator George Neptune facilitated the dialogue program, “Thanksgiving myths, facts, and the dangers of Twistory.” Participants delved into their own experiences around Thanksgiving, the significance of the myths that have developed regarding the modern American concept of the holiday, and ways to gain a better understanding of Native cultures and traditions to begin to move past these myths.
March on Mount Desert Street
The Abbe joined our Mount Desert Street neighbors to host a segment of the annual March on Mount Desert St. community gathering in March, 2016. Students from Conners-Emerson School performed a short play at the museum, followed by a progressive dinner at the YWCA, St. Saviour’s Church, Jesup Memorial Library, and the Congregational Church.
First Light Film Screening
In May, filmmaker Adam Mazo and Truth & Reconciliation Commission participant Tyneshia Wright shared the short film First Light and led a panel discussion on the impact of child welfare practices on the Wabanaki, and about the TRC process and experience.
Traditional Hawaiian Voyaging Canoe Hōkūle‘a
The Abbe was privileged to host members of the crew of the Hōkūleʻa on July 26 as they shared insights from their experience sailing on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage at the museum. They spoke to a packed house about the fascinating details of celestial navigation and about the people and places they had connected with along their journey.
Return of the River Screening and Panel
On September 26, writer, director, and co-producer of the film Return of the River, Jessica Plumb, was joined by Penobscot Nation tribal historian James E. Francis, Sr. at the Abbe to screen the film and host a discussion of the importance of rivers and their protection from Indigenous people across North America. The film follows members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, working with activists to attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down.
The Abbe education team worked with a wonderful variety of schools and organizations across Maine to further learning about the Wabanaki. Some of these groups came to the museums, while others welcomed Abbe staff into their schools and communities.
Mount Desert Island YMCA
Coastal Studies for Girls, Freeport
George B. Weatherbee School, Hampden
Cobscook Experiential Program for High School Students, Trescott
Miles Lane School, Bucksport
Pembroke Elementary School
Houlton Elementary School
Ellsworth Elementary Middle School
Trenton Elementary School
South Elementary School, Rockland
Blue Hill Consolidated School
Mast Landing School, Freeport
Bay School, Blue Hill
Conners-Emerson School, Bar Harbor
MDI High School
Bangor Public Schools
Deer Isle Public Library
Jesup Memorial Library
Swan’s Island School
Athens Community School
Montello School, Lewiston
National History Day, Orono
Wentworth School, Scarborough
Acadia Senior College
Pemetic Elementary School, Southwest Harbor
Maple Tree Community School, Readfield
Wilson Museum, Castine
Daughters of the American Revolution
Washington County Gifted and Talented Program
Peninsula School, Prospect Harbor
Parker Ridge Retirement Community, Blue Hill
Kid’s Corner, Bar Harbor
Maine Connections Academy
Wesleyan College, Connecticut
Maranacook Community Middle School, Readfield
Bucksport Middle School
Brooksville Elementary School
Fort Fairfield High School
Boy Scout Troop #301, Allentown, PA
Aroostook Band of Micmacs Youth Group
College of the Atlantic
Appalachian Mountain Club, Echo Lake Camp
Southwest Harbor Library Story Camp
Washington Academy, East Machias
Migrant Education Program Youth Summit, Mano en Mano, Milbridge
Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor
Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations
Rangeley Lakes Regional School, Rangeley
Frenchman Bay Conservancy
Winter in the Dawnland
The Abbe collaborated with the Mount Desert Island YMCA to offer two storytelling and craft activities. For Wabanaki people, storytelling and the passing on of oral histories was typically reserved for the winter season, when much time was spent indoors. On November 6, 2016, Museum Educator George Neptune, Passamaquoddy, told the story of a beautiful young woman named Kci Kikuwosson Skitkomiq (Our Mother, the Earth) and how she created the place known as Turtle Island. Participants then wove their own ash and sweetgrass turtle to represent one of the animals that came to Mother Earth's aid when she fell from the sky. On December 8, Neptune shared the story of the first treaty in the Dawnland – an agreement between Koluskap, the first man, and Putep, the whale. After the story, participants explored how wampum belts were used as record keepers and made their own imitation wampum bracelet
Kluskap of the Wabanaki Reception and Meet the Artist
On November 28, Abbe friends joined Maliseet artist Dozay to celebrate the opening of her first U.S. show. Guests had the opportunity to learn directly from the artist about what inspires and shapes her work and about the Wabanaki oral traditions featured in the show.
Embrace the Serpent Film Screening
Indigenous people rarely have input when it comes to their representations in mainstream culture, yet these representations seem to appear more and more frequently. The 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor hosted a screening of Embrace the Serpent, which is about the devastating effects of colonization on Amazonian cultures. It was followed by a discussion about Indigenous representations in media and how these representations may dispel or reinforce stereotypical depictions of Indigenous cultures, facilitated by Abbe Museum Educators George Neptune and Jen Heindel.
The summer of 2016 featured two workshops led by accomplished Wabanaki artists. Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy, offered a two-day fancy basket workshop, and Gabriel Frey, Passamaquoddy, offered a two-day utility basket workshop, providing visitors with an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the two main styles of Wabanaki basketmaking.
Abbe Museum Trustee Jamie Bissonette Lewey participated in a panel discussion about the controversial photographer Edward Curtis on May 6, 2016, at the Portland Museum of Art, offering these remarks. She was joined by honorary Trustee Darren Ranco and Abbe Museum Educator George Neptune. The talk was co-sponsored by the Abbe Museum and discussed the ways Curtis' images have perpetuated cultural genocide of indigenous North Americans and the way they represent the violence of colonization. Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko facilitated the discussion for a capacity crowd. And, earlier that day George Neptune led a small group of adult learners through a facilitated dialogue about Curtis’s photography and its legacy inside the gallery space.
The Abbe was excited to participate in Park Science Day, one of the Acadia Centennial feature events, at Sieur de Monts Spring on June 25. George Neptune and Julia Gray shared information about birchbark canoes and about the impact of climate change on coastal archaeological sites in the Wabanaki homeland. The event featured a wide range of researcher and science educators who work in and around Acadia National Park.
Julia Gray staffed an informational table about Abbe Museum educator resources at the first annual Maine Social Studies Summer Symposium at Maranacook High School on June 29.
Abbe Museum Annual Film Series: Continuity, Change, and Resistance
October 15, 2015
Weaving Worlds (2007)
The first film, Weaving Worlds, is a documentary about Diné (Navajo) rug weaving, and viewers saw one of the many perspectives on how Indigenous peoples in America have ensured economic and cultural survival through contemporary art. After the movie, Museum Educators George Neptune and Jennifer Heindel facilitated a discussion about the survival of traditions in the face of globalization.
November 19, 2015
We Still Live Here (2010)
We Still Live Here focuses on the story of cultural revival among the Aquinnah Wampanoag in Southern Massachusetts. Having survived the arrival of the European settlers frequently referred to as "pilgrims," this documentary follows the journey of Jesse Little Doe Baird and her work to revitalize the Wampanoag language, and raise her daughter as the first native Wampanoag speaker in over 100 years. After the movie, George and Jennifer facilitated a discussion on language revitalization and its relevance among the Wabanaki Nations.
January 14, 2016
Our Spirits Don't Speak English (2008)
The documentary Our Spirits Don't Speak English examines the Native American boarding school era in the United States. Highlighting both the schools run by Christian missionaries and the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, the film features testimonials from boarding school survivors and provides a platform for dialogue on forced assimilation and cultural genocide. After the movie, George and Jennifer facilitated a discussion reflecting the theme of this year's film series: Continuity, Change, and Resistance.
February 1, 2016
Incident at Restigouche (1984)
For the final film in our annual film series, the documentary Incident at Restigouche tells a story of resistance and resilience among the Mi'kmaq First Nation of Listiguj in Quebec, Canada. To serve as a form of protest and inspire activism in support of Indigenous sovereignty, filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin traveled to Listiguj to document two raids on Listiguj by the Sûreté du Québec in 1981. A discussion with Museum Educators George Neptune and Jen Heindel followed the movie and focused on sovereignty and self-determination among the Wabanaki.
The film series was free and open to the public thanks to the support of Reel Pizza Cinerama.