While the role of the Wabanaki guide has been an important part of the history of the territory now known as Maine for over 400 years, certain aspects of guiding have changed drastically over time. As with any profession, each person who works as a guide takes a slightly different approach to their work. On Thursday, September 12 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Abbe Museum, Penobscot guides and longtime friends Ron Bear and Dean Francis will compare and contrast their personal guiding styles, and explain how they keep guiding traditions alive in an ever-changing environment.
The guiding tradition among the Wabanaki nations is one that reaches back to the time of first contact with Europeans. From Pierre Dugua and Samuel Champlain to Henry David Thoreau and William Underwood, strangers to this land have long looked to the Wabanaki as guides through the Maine wilderness. The Wabanaki Nations have been stewards of this land for 12,000 years, with cultural connections and ancestral knowledge of this environment that makes each guided experience unique. Their talk at the Abbe on September 12 accompanies the Abbe’s current exhibit Wabanaki Guides, which explores depth the rich history of guiding amongst the Wabanaki Nations of Maine as well as contemporary issues in the guiding world. This program is free and open to the public and is made possible through support from the Lynam Trust and the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust.