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In 2016, the number of people visiting the Abbe Museum greatly exceeded our expectations. Part of that was due to Acadia National Park’s Centennial celebration, which brought a record number of visitors to Bar Harbor, but a larger part was that the Abbe opened its wonderful new core exhibit, People of the First Light. The exhibit offers a much-needed overview of the Wabanaki Nations, past and present, and gives priority to the native perspective in every regard. The exhibit is the result of profound listening and collaboration with tribal members and the intensity of this collaborative process deepens the impact of the exhibit.

That process of giving priority to, or “privileging,” the native voice—a key part of the process of decolonization—is making the Abbe an important statewide and national resource. Through our extraordinary president and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko’s inspiring work with the American Alliance of Museums, the National Park Service, and other national groups, the Abbe is having an outsized impact on museum practice in the United States and beyond. We look forward to continuing this influential work while welcoming more visitors and members to the Abbe and further pursuing the work of our strategic plan. We are laying the groundwork now for our first Abbe Museum Indian Market to be held in Bar Harbor in May 2018.

Thank you for your support and stay tuned!