Vermont celebrated it’s very first “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on October 14, 2019. This holiday, formally known as Columbus Day, has been changed to recognize that we have for far too long promoted a story that celebrates the settlers and colonizers, while dismissing the Indigenous peoples’ languages, traditions, knowledge and relationship with the land. Burlington schools marked this historic day by engaging in interactive, educational activities for all students.
“N’dakina wa”- Abenaki Homeland Signage Project
Inspired by an Abenaki signage project designed by Chief Don Stevens to acknowledge “N’dakina” – Abenaki Homeland, Elementary Schools learned about Indigenous plants that hold culturally significance for the Abenaki people. Champlain 4th grade teacher Aziza Malik, Equity Instructional Leader, Autumn Bangoura, Teaching Artist Alissa Faber and Abenaki culture bearer, Judy Dow teamed up to create this signage project. Art classes created a plant pressing in locally dug clay to build a sign that will be installed in all six Elementary school gardens acknowledging that we are on Abenaki land. A slideshow of plants with Abenaki language translations was created as an ecological resource to learn about culturally significant indigenous plants.
Students press squash seeds, sumac, cattail and other indigenous plants into locally dug clay.
Restorative Circles were held to discuss and honor Indigenous Peoples. You can access more Restorative Circles to Honor Indigenous Peoples designed for grades K-12 here.
Liwlaldamana kwsiômek N’dakina Please respect our homeland.
Abenaki Musicians Visit all 6 Elementary Schools
Bryan Blanchette and Abenaki Circle of Courage Youth group perform in all 6 elementary schools.
Curriculum Integration and Curriculum Materials for Educators
Unit Overview Sheet- Indigenous Peoples and Children’s Literature
Restorative Circles to Honor Indigenous Peoples
Evaluating Children’s Books for Anti-Indian Bias – Oyate
Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day – Lesson from the Anti-Defamation League 9-12
Deconstructing the Myths of Christopher Columbus in Children’s Literature Article by Judy Dow
Vermont Abenaki Artist Association Curriculum Materials
What is the Status of Abenaki Native Americans in Vermont today? VPR Article
Washington Post Article: Vermont renames Columbus Day
Slideshow of Columbus Day Parade Protestors
Indigenous Story “Connected to Everything” Story of Moving to a Reservation
32 Native American Children’s Books from coloursofus.com
Stereotypes and Tonto – Teaching Tolerance Lesson
The Columbus Controversy Youtube Video