Special Events and Intensive Workshops
Indigenous Harvest School
with Dr. Frederick Wiseman, Peggy Fullerton and Cheryl O’Neil
Saturday, November 7th 9 am – 6 pm
$80/$70 for members
A full day of educational activities that include a tour of ancient Native American domesticated and wild crops used by the Abenakis and their Wabanaki neighbors; drying and storing the Harvest; heritage seeds and Native-style seed saving, with tips on how to create a Wabanaki – themed harvest feast with commercially available foods. Also, videos showing Abenaki harvest music, dance and celebration will be shown.
Since 2011, the Seeds of Renewal Project, located in Swanton, Vermont has
tracked down and gathered over 25 unusual crops that evidence suggests
were grown by the Wabanaki People (the Abenakis, Penobscots,
Passamaquoddies, Maliseets and Micmacs). In 2013, we began growing and
offering seed to regional Native American communities. Today, this seed is
grown and conserved by aboriginals in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine,
Quebec and New Brunswick.
Recently, there has been a growing public interest in Seeds of Renewal
crops, seed saving, gardening techniques, agricultural music, dance,
celebration, as well as Native-style cooking and cuisine. K-12 teachers are
excited about incorporating Indigenous crops into their new school gardens;
and horticultural information into the Farm to School curricula. Innovative
Chefs are interested in exploring the potentials of using ingredients that date
back hundreds to thousands of years in the Far Northeast. Tribal Citizens
strive to reconnect with the foods and foodways of their ancestors. Political
activists interested in food justice, Native American rights, food security, and
sustainable agriculture clamor for more factual information upon which to
base their campaigns. Alternative agriculturalists interested in sustainable,
organic and permacultural crops and cropping seek Indigenous seed and
techniques to help them stay at the cutting edge of their craft. And of course,
the general public has always shown an interest in the region’s first peoples.
October’s Columbus Day and November’s Thanksgiving have become a time
for contemplation and occasional controversy concerning the history and role
of Native Peoples in modern American society. The Harvest School will bring
Euroamerica and Native America together at this special time in a gathering of sharing to learn about the Indigenous Bounty of the Far Northeast.
The Indigenous Harvest School brings together a cadre of teachers, health
professionals, farmers and chefs from Vermont’s State-Recognized Abenaki tribes to share the science, history and art of a local harvest tradition that is thousands of years old. The School combines illustrated lectures, hands-on lab experiences, music, video and storytelling to bring the history and culture of Wabanaki food to life.
Students will bring away a deep time understanding of Wabanaki food systems and how to adapt them to a modern world.
Professor Frederick Wiseman, Missisquoi Abenaki Citizen, trained as a
paleo-ethnobiologist at the University of Arizona is the foremost expert on
past and present Wabanaki crops and agriculture, with many public
presentations, scholarly and popular book chapters and articles on the
subject. In 2014, Wiseman received the first ever Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Vermont Abenaki Artist’ Association, where he is a
Peggy Fullerton is a Koasek Abenaki elder and leader who sits on their
Elders’ Council, as well as their “White Pine Association” nonprofit’s Board
of Directors. Peggy runs Sagakwa Farm in Piermont, NH where the bulk
of the Seeds of Renewal crops are propagated and grown. More than any
other living Abenaki, she has the years of experience with growing, seed-
saving and cooking with the Project’s unique ancient crops.
Cheryl O’Neil, Koasek Abenaki citizen is a Caregiver to the Elderly, with
an academic Nursing background, and has lectured on Indigenous crops,
nutrition and food security at venues in New England and Quebec. She is
also a member of the Voices of the Koas singing group, and teaches
Abenaki music and dance, and is a member of the Vermont Commission
on Native American Affairs.