Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market Celebrates 25 Years with a New Location

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The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market celebrates 25 years on July 7, 2018, with a new location at the Abbe Museum’s downtown location. The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and a silent auction. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum and the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. 

“The Native American Festival is a unique community gathering in a historic area of the Wabanaki homeland and has built a reputation for being an important family event for locals on Mount Desert Island,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “As the Festival evolves and finds its home in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, we recognize the strong legacy of this event—a legacy based on tradition. It has been and will continue to be a gathering of Wabanaki people celebrating the arts and traditions of the Wabanaki Nations.”

This nationally renowned event features one-of-a-kind handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, painted drums, and other items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people in Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures. 

The Abbe Museum is expanding its marketplace for Wabanaki artists with the development of the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) each May and the Festival will continue to serve an important educational and economic role for the community alongside AMIM. As sister markets, the two offer a range of opportunities for the public to engage with Wabanaki artists and educators. The Festival serves as a non-juried, non-competitive marketplace. It is accessible to artists who are beginning their careers and interested in working alongside seasoned artists who have done larger markets. 

“This annual celebration serves an important cultural function because it is a space for Wabanaki people to share traditions such as artistic expertise, dance, music, and storytelling,” said Executive Director of MIBA Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot. “The Festival is a staple of summer in Bar Harbor and we’re proud to partner with the Abbe to continue to provide this vital space for Wabanaki peoples to interact with the larger public.”

MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. At the time of MIBA’s founding in 1993, there were fewer than a dozen basket makers younger than the age of 50 statewide that were still practicing and learning this ancient and once prolific art form. Through 25 years of educational programs and marketing efforts, MIBA has lowered the average age of basket makers from 63 to 40 and increased numbers from 55 founding members to 200+ basketmakers today. 
Sponsored generously by Maine Public, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

The Festival gates are open from 10 am to 4 pm in the Abbe Museum’s backyard at 26 Mount Desert St in Bar Harbor. 

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes.
 

Abbe Museum Free Admission Program Celebrates Four Years

 Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Branch Manager, Matt Horton. 

Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Branch Manager, Matt Horton. 

The Abbe Museum will continue its free admission program during select months in 2018, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free February 1-April 28, Monday, October 8 (Indigenous Peoples' Day), and November 1-December 21. 

“Thanks to Machias Saving Bank’s generosity, our free admission program celebrates four years this year,” said Abbe President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “This program is important to our mission and is critical to furthering our work as a Smithsonian Affiliate by being easily accessible to the public. We received feedback from a visitor survey conducted last year that 50% our guests visit the Abbe because the Museum contributes to their quality of life. And, one of the most exciting results from this survey is that 55% of our visitors leave and go have conversations with friends and family about what they learned, which is the ultimate goal of museum work.”

The free admission program dates also include Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 8, 2018. For the very first time last year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park co-hosted a Wabanaki led celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the Museum’s downtown location. John Dennis, Mi’kmaq, kicked off the day with hand drumming and songs on the front patio and he also shared traditional and contemporary songs from his community to demonstrate the continued cultural traditions, ending the day with a storytelling hour for people of all ages. A similar event is planned for this year. 

“Everyone at Machias Savings Bank is honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission,” said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, this program helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only non-tribal museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”

The Abbe staff is designing and installing two new exhibits, Emergence - Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation, opening in April, and the 2018 Waponahki Student Art Show, opening in May. In addition, the Museum’s education team is in the process of putting together a dynamic programming schedule that gives visitors unique opportunities to engage with artists, curators, and educators that explore the Abbe's current exhibitions and vast collections. The Museum hosted 674 students with 21 programs on-site in 2017 and reached 1,107 students with 10 programs across the state, totaling 1,781 students with 31 programs. 

The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, through April 28, 2018. From May 1 through October 31, the Museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Please visit abbemuseum.org for more details.
 

Launch of the Archaeological Advisory Committee

 From left to right, back row: Larry Zimmerman, Gabe Hrynick, Dave Putnam, Darren Ranco, Isaac St. John, Paulette Steeves, Kristen Barnett, Lynne Dominy, Rebecca Cole-Will, Bonnie Newsom, Stephen Loring. From left to right, front row: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Chris Sockalexis, Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, David Goldstein, Starr Kelly, Natalie Dana, Cassandra Dana, Julia Gray, Jennifer Pictou. 

From left to right, back row: Larry Zimmerman, Gabe Hrynick, Dave Putnam, Darren Ranco, Isaac St. John, Paulette Steeves, Kristen Barnett, Lynne Dominy, Rebecca Cole-Will, Bonnie Newsom, Stephen Loring. From left to right, front row: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Chris Sockalexis, Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, David Goldstein, Starr Kelly, Natalie Dana, Cassandra Dana, Julia Gray, Jennifer Pictou. 


The first convening of our newly created Archaeological Advisory Committee was held earlier this week at the Museum. The group of 20 included Indigenous archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians from the Wabanaki Nations and beyond, along with non-Native archaeologists, educators, and leadership from the Abbe and the National Park Service. With the long-term goal of helping the Abbe re-envision our role in archaeology in the Wabanaki homeland, the group tackled topics from community archaeology to building capacity, from education to heritage protection, all through the lenses of decolonizing practice and Indigenous archaeologies. Members of the committee will continue to work in smaller groups to further develop and implement the ideas generated this week.

The full list of committee members is:

Patricia Ayala Rocabado, independent scholar
Kristen Barnett, Unangan, Bates College
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Abbe Museum
Rebecca Cole-Will, Acadia National Park
Cassandra Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribe  
Natalie Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribe
Lynne Dominy, Acadia National Park
David J. Goldstein, National Park Service
Julia Gray, Abbe Museum
Gabe Hrynick, University of New Brunswick
Starr Kelly, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Abbe Museum
Stephen Loring, Smithsonian Institution
Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot, University of Maine
Jennifer Pictou, Aroostook Band of Micmacs
David Putnam, University of Maine, Presque Isle
Darren Ranco, Penobscot, University of Maine
Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation
Donald Soctomah, Passamaquoddy Tribe
Isaac St. John, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
Paulette Steeves, First Nations Cree- Metis, Mount Allison University, New Brunswick
Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, National Park Service
Larry Zimmerman, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

On Sunday, November 5th, a panel that consisted of four of the committee members took place at the Abbe, officially kicking things off for the week. The crowd of 30 interacted with panelists about the future of archaeology and what is exciting and new in the field.

 
 From left to right:Jennifer Pictou (Micmac), Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot), Starr Kelly (Algonquin), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Paulette Steeves (First Nations Cree- Metis), Kristen Barnett (Unangan), Bonnie Newsom (Penobscot), Isaac St. John (Maliseet), Natalie Dana (Passamaquoddy), Cassandra Dana (Passamaquoddy)

From left to right:Jennifer Pictou (Micmac), Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot), Starr Kelly (Algonquin), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Paulette Steeves (First Nations Cree- Metis), Kristen Barnett (Unangan), Bonnie Newsom (Penobscot), Isaac St. John (Maliseet), Natalie Dana (Passamaquoddy), Cassandra Dana (Passamaquoddy)

Indigenous Peoples' Day

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Indigenous Peoples' Day has been picking up steam the past few months as the city of Los Angeles adopted the holiday and, more locally, Bangor, Orono, Portland, and Brunswick all made the switch (Belfast did so back in 2015). So what is Indigenous Peoples' Day? It's a holiday to honor and celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures of this continent. At its infancy, the holiday began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday in October to commemorate the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. As it has grown and been adopted by many localities, the day has turned into a celebration of Native history and culture in the Americas. 

You might be asking though, why? For the past 525 years, Native Americans have been adapting to and resisting the legacy of Columbus and colonization in our homelands. The consequences of Columbus’ arrival and his attitude and dealings with Indigenous people set in motion the foundation of the Atlantic slave trade, state-sanctioned theft, and genocide. Colonization is a violent and deliberate process of appropriating land and resources to secure wealth and power over an area of land.

Colonization is also an on-going process; celebrations of Columbus only exacerbate the colonial realities in which we live. What do we celebrate when we celebrate Columbus Day? We celebrate the deaths he caused, we celebrate colonization, and we celebrate slavery. Are these things worthy of celebration? Certainly not, as conscious citizens, it is vital to be critical and engaged in the reality of colonial celebrations that further serve a colonial purpose of re-telling history so that it is more palatable for the masses. Indigenous Peoples' Day is a way for people to become engaged in issues that affect Native communities and learn directly from those in Indian country about history, culture, and contemporary issues. 

At the Abbe, we will be hosting an impressive amount of programming to celebrate Indigenous history and culture in Maine. We are pleased to have John Dennis, Mi’kmaq, with us for the day on Monday, October 9th. He will host a hand drumming session on our front patio to kick off the celebrations, welcoming all people into our museum spaces. Later John will host a storytelling hour where he will share traditional Wabanaki stories inside the Museum. Throughout the day we will have plenty of opportunities for families to learn and have fun whether on a free People of the First Light Tour or in our Learning Lab where we will have crafts, educational touch tables, and other engaging activities. We look forward to seeing you at our downtown location on October 9th!


Starr Kelly is the Curator of Education at the Abbe Museum. She is a member of the Algonquin First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec, and has worked as a middle and high school social studies teacher and is a social justice oriented educator, developing what she refers to as a "curriculum for dignity." Her lessons and pedagogical approach put theory into practice by honoring those she teaches about while simultaneously creating an environment which is responsive to the needs of her learners and dignifies her students' lived experiences

Abbe Launches Archaeological Advisory Committee

It’s August, the time of year when the Abbe Archaeological Field School happened for many years. As many of you may know, the field school is currently on hiatus as we begin the process of finding the right place for archaeology in our decolonizing museum practices.

The Museum is beginning the process of addressing our archaeological research, collections, and interpretation through the formation of an Archaeological Advisory Committee. The Abbe Museum, in partnership with Acadia National Park, is excited to launch this new project as part of our Decolonization Initiative, and we’re working under a Cooperative Agreement to partner with the Wabanaki Nations of Maine to inspire new learning, to understand issues of stewardship of heritage resources, and to provide opportunities for co-management of research about Wabanaki history and archaeology.  

The Abbe was founded in 1926 around goals to collect, preserve, and interpret the archaeological record of the region, and we have been doing archaeological research in the Wabanaki homeland since 1928. However, like most archaeological work in North America, this was not done with any involvement with or consideration for the Wabanaki people themselves for many decades. In recent years, the Museum has begun to work more collaboratively on some aspects of our archaeological content, but as a decolonizing museum, we know that we need to do so much more.

We will bring together an outstanding group of knowledge-keepers from the Wabanaki communities and the field of archaeology to help us assess where we are, think about what role archaeological research, collections, and interpretation should have in the Wabanaki homeland, and to bring current best practices in Indigenous archaeologies to shape the future of our work at the Abbe Museum and in Acadia National Park. This group includes more than 10 Indigenous archaeologists and anthropologists, and several non-Native archaeologists who have shown a strong track record of working collaboratively with Indigenous communities. The Abbe team is very grateful to everyone who has agreed to share their time and expertise to kick off the process!

Acadia National Park resource managers will join the process, to listen and learn about issues of heritage resources stewardship, offer insights from their experiences, and collaborate with the Abbe Museum and Wabanaki Nations to protect Wabanaki archaeological resources. Wabanaki archaeologists, anthropologists, and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers from the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and Aroostook Band of Micmacs will be members of the committee. Indigenous archaeologists from colleges and universities in New England and the Canadian Maritimes and from the National Park Service (NPS) will be joined by non-Native archaeologists and anthropologists from our region, the NPS, the Smithsonian, and beyond.

The initial on-site meeting of the Archaeological Advisory Committee will take place this November. This meeting will be followed up by virtual meetings and collaborations, both with the full committee and in smaller working groups. Our hope is to develop guiding principles, priorities, best practices, and protocols to re-envision archaeological research, collections management, and interpretation, not only at the Abbe but across the Wabanaki homeland. 
 

Julia Gray is Director of Collections & Research at the Abbe Museum. As a non-tribal museum whose work focuses on the Wabanaki (the Native people of northern New England and easternmost Canada), the Abbe is committed to a vision to reflect and realize the values of decolonization in all of its practices, working with the Wabanaki Nations to share their stories, history, and culture with a broader audience. Gray’s work in collections management and care, exhibit development, research, and community outreach has engaged extensively with the decolonizing vision of the museum, most recently in the development of our core exhibit, People of the First Light.

24th Annual Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate 24 years on July 8, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm at College of the Atlantic (COA). The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and a silent auction. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), and COA, the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. 

This nationally renowned Indian Market features exquisite handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls, and other handcrafted items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people in Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes.
 
MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new, “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. Many of these talented basketmakers first got their start at the Festival over the 24 years it has been in Bar Harbor and has watched it grow from a few artists selling baskets while singers and dancers performed, to a festival that displays a wide array of Native crafts and cultural demonstrations. 

At the time of MIBA’s founding in 1993, there were fewer than a dozen basket makers younger than the age of 50 statewide who were still practicing and learning this ancient and once prolific art form. Through 24 years of educational programs and marketing efforts, MIBA has lowered the average age of basket makers from 63 to 40 and increased numbers from 55 founding members to 200+ basketmakers today. 

Sponsored generously by the Maine Arts Commission and Maine Public, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

Parking is limited, and public transportation is available. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Island Explorer bus system which stops at COA. The grounds of the College of the Atlantic are handicap accessible. 

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes. www.maineindianbaskets.org
 

Volunteer Week at the Abbe Museum

Volunteer Week (April 23-29th) is quickly approaching and with it the start of another busy season. As the manager of the Abbe's Volunteer Program, the upcoming summer gives me pause to reflect on 2016 and how thankful I am to all those who helped make last year so great. Here at the Abbe, we are fortunate to have a dedicated base of volunteers – a group who is always quick to lend a hand, whether that means raking up leaves or baking goodies. We would not be able to do the wonderful work we do without you! So, for Volunteer Week 2017 we are inviting volunteers past, present, and future to come visit us for two Volunteer Open Houses, one on Monday, April 24th from 10-11 am and the other on Thursday, April 27th from 3-4 pm. This is my chance to personally thank you all for your hard work, plus give you an update on what 2017 has in store. 

I first began working at the Abbe Museum as a volunteer in 2010. Since then I have had the opportunity to work in several museums, and one fact remains: volunteers are vital to any museum's success. This is especially true for small museums. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) estimates that volunteers provide 1 million hours of work EVERY WEEK (2013)! The Abbe’s volunteers contributed to that number by clocking in 351 hours last year, valued at $8,270. This involved standing in the rain at the Native American Festival, dancing with scarves at the Gala, and serving up s’mores on a stick at the Backyard Bash. At the Bash alone, volunteers outnumbered staff 5:1 – further exemplifying the importance of volunteers for our continued development. 

We can’t wait to bring the energy from 2016 into 2017, a year that promises to be another exciting page in the Abbe Museum book. You'll notice that the volunteer program is changing – with new recruitment and communication techniques at the forefront. Also, with two new faces on the team, there is potential for more opportunities to get involved. This is all on top of the unique events we already have planned. Those of you already following us know that we are saying goodbye to the Gathering Gala and hello to a new venture: the Abbe Midsummer. The Abbe Midsummer is a chance for us to step outside of our comfort zone, engaging with our guests in new and exciting ways. For volunteers, it is a chance to become involved in what promises to be a really fun evening full of good food, great entertainment, and cool people. It will be THE event on the island this summer, for sure!

As we embark on these changes, we welcome your feedback. Those of you attending one of our Volunteer Open Houses will get a sneak peek of our plan for the year and be invited to contribute. If you’ve worked with us in the past, we want to hear about what you thought worked or didn’t work. For future volunteers: what would make you want to participate? We appreciate all that you do to keep us strong and want to ensure that the program works just as well for you as it does for us. So, please, consider attending and lending your voice. 

Volunteering at the Abbe Museum gives you inside access to museum life, unpacking all the quirky and interesting systems that keep us going while introducing you to new people that share your interests. It's not just a way to help a rich cultural institution on the island, but a way to enrich your own understanding of our diverse community while giving back. Thank you for all that you do – your time, talents, energy, and spirit are indispensable and hugely appreciated. I’m so, so glad I get to work with you. Now let’s make some magic happen in 2017!

Abbe Museum and Machias Savings Bank Partner on Free Admission Program

 Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program

The Abbe Museum will continue to offer free admission during select months in 2017, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free February 2 - April 30 and November 1 - December 22, 2017.

"This year, Machias Savings Bank and the Abbe Museum celebrate 26 years as partners," said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "We are pleased to commemorate this partnership by once again sponsoring the Abbe's free admission program, which offers an opportunity for more visitors to see the Museum's exceptional exhibits, projects, and programs."

As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe’s free admission program aligns nicely with the Smithsonian’s goal of being easily accessible to the public, and it helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. 

The Abbe staff is currently designing and installing two new exhibits, Twisted Path IV: Vital Signs and the 2017 Waponahki Student Art Show, both of which will open in April. In addition, the Museum’s new core exhibit, People of the First Light, is open and offers visitors a wide variety of content and perspectives around more than 12,000 years of history, conflict, adaptation, and survival in the Wabanaki homeland.

“Thanks to Machias Savings Bank, the Abbe’s statewide visibility continues to grow in the off-season through this free admission program, drawing more repeat Maine visitors every year,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Since close to 80% of our visitors come from more than 120 miles away, and are typically one-time visitors, the free admission program has catered to Maine residents, which is an audience we’ve been trying to engage with more often since we opened our downtown location back in 2001.”

The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, through April 30, 2017. From May 1 through October 31, 2017, the Museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Please visit abbemuseum.org for more details. 

Improvements to Acadia National Park infrastructure to be completed this fall

Beginning on September 6, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) will close Seawall Campground and certain visitor facilities at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park to complete major improvements to the septic systems that serve those areas.  Island Explorer bus stops at Seawall Campground and Sieur de Monts will be relocated during the construction. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of November.

At Sieur de Monts, the Abbe Museum, Nature Center, and restrooms will be closed for the season beginning September 6. Access to hiking trails and the Wild Gardens of Acadia will remain open, and portable toilets will be available. Parking will be available for a limited number of cars, but buses and RVs will be prohibited from entering Sieur de Monts during construction. The Island Explorer will continue its regular fall service with the Sieur de Monts stop relocated to the Park Loop Road for the outbound Sand Beach route (#3) and to Otter Creek Road (State Route 3) near the park entrance for the inbound Sand Beach route (#3) and both directions for the Loop Road route (#4).

The last night of camping for the season at Seawall Campground will be September 5. Visitors who would like to camp in Acadia should check for availability at Blackwoods and Schoodic Woods campgrounds online at recreation.gov.  The Island Explorer’s Southwest Harbor route (#7) will continue its regular fall service with the Seawall Campground stop relocated to Seawall Road (State Route 102A) at the entrance to the campground.  The Seawall Picnic Area will remain open and restrooms will be available there through September. Visitors will continue to have non-motorized access to Hio Road through the campground.

During construction, visitors may also encounter temporary one-lane closures on the Park Loop Road near Sieur de Monts and on Seawall Road across from Seawall Campground.

“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of visitors as we complete essential upgrades to the septic systems at Seawall Campground and Sieur de Monts,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “These improvements will provide better service to park visitors and enhance the protection of the environment.”

For the latest information on the Island Explorer bus service, please call 207-288-4573 or visitwww.exploreacadia.com. For updates on the closures and other park information, please call 207-288-3338 or visitwww.nps.gov/acad.  Please join Acadia’s online conversations atwww.facebook.com/AcadiaNPS and https://twitter.com/AcadiaNPS.

This information was provided by:
Acadia National Park News Release
Release Date:  August 31, 2016
Contact:  John Kelly, john_t_kelly@nps.gov, 207-288-8703

Legendary Hawaiian Canoe to Visit Mount Desert Island on Global Voyage

Unprecedented voyage to stop in Somes Sound where crew will honor and engage in cultural exchanges with Native Americans and share about Polynesian wayfinding and sustainability efforts with Mount Desert Community

Traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be stopping in Mount Desert Island (MDI), as part of her leg through the New England area. This sail is part of a historic Worldwide Voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations. Hōkūleʻa is a double-hull sailing vessel that voyages without the use of modern instruments, using stars, winds, and waves to navigate from destination to destination. During this current leg, the crew is honoring Native American tribes in the region and teaching and learning about traditions and practices of protecting cultural and environmental resources. Weather permitting, the crew conducts community and educational outreach programs, including canoe tours for the public during each stop.

Following is the tentative schedule for MDI. Since the schedule is subject to change, the public is encouraged to visitwww.hokulea.com for the latest information.

Saturday, July 23

  • 9:00 am: Wabanaki and the Mount Desert community will gather for a public Arrival Ceremony to welcome Hōkūleʻa at JW Boat Company (Hall Quarry Road, Mount Desert, ME) 
  • 12:00-4:00 pm: Public Engagement and Canoe Tours to follow Ceremony and Exchange

Sunday, July 24

  • 6:00 pm: Crew Presentation at JW Boat Company, Open to the Public

Tuesday, July 26

  • 10:00 am - 3:15 pm: Youth Groups visit Canoe (by appointment)
  • 4:00-5:00 pm: Crew Presentation in Community Gallery at Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, Open to the Public

Youth groups are invited to visit Hōkūleʻa on Tuesday, July 26th. Group size is limited to 50 youth and reservations are required for time blocks throughout the day. Interested groups should contact Debra Deal at Camp Beechcliff to inquire about reservations: (207) 244-0365, debra@campbeechcliff.org.

Hōkūleʻa is sailing the Earth’s oceans to visit and learn from those who are working to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Her crew spreads the Mālama Honua (care for Island Earth) message as it grows the global movement for a more sustainable world. The stories exchanged among crewmembers and communities they visit add to the collective wisdom shaping global lessons for the future health of our Island Earth, and the health of our people, lands, and oceans.

For Hōkūleʻa's most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.

To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sonja Swenson Rogers
Polynesian Voyaging Society
sonja@pvshawaii.org
(808) 745-3386

The online press kit is available at www.hokulea.com/press.

About Hōkūleʻa
A symbol of cultural revival, the history of Hōkūleʻa is also being shared on this journey to inspire other indigenous cultures. This replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe was built 40 years ago and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific. The canoe’s twin hulls allow her to handle large ocean swells and recover easily in the troughs of waves, and her triangular canvas sails can harness winds up to 20 knots. Hōkūleʻa first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Through the revival of the traditional art and science of wayfinding–navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind–Hōkūleʻa sparked a Hawaiian cultural renaissance and has reawakened the world’s sense of pride and strength as voyagers charting a course for our Island Earth.

About the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage presented by Hawaiian Airlines
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO's Marine World Heritage sites. Voyaging from Hawaiʻi in 2013 with an estimated sail conclusion date of June 2017, the Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessel, Hōkūleʻa, around Island Earth and her sister canoe, Hikianalia, around the Hawaiian Islands to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth - practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hōkūle‘a has sailed more than 26,000 nautical miles and made stops in 14 countries and 70 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 200 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hōkūle‘a to spread the message of Mālama Honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crewmembers have connected with more than 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage reached the East Coast of the United States in March 2016, stopping in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia before continuing north to Washington D.C., New York City (where it celebrated World Oceans Day at the United Nations on June 8) and New England.

To learn more about Hōkūleʻa and this historic voyage, view: https://youtu.be/tRHtu8rCAC0.

For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, visit http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/.

About the Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another and their natural and cultural environments.

For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit www.hokulea.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.

Note: The Polynesian Voyaging Society is sensitive to and understands the importance of diacritical markings. In mediums where the reproduction of these markings is true (i.e., in print), diacritical markings will be used. If a communication crosses several mediums to include the Web, which does not always reproduce diacritical markings correctly, diacritical markings will not be used.

Schoodic Institute Artist in Residence: Gina Brooks, Maliseet

  Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American   Festival & Basketmakers Market

Gina Brooks and Abbe Museum Director of Collections & Interpretation Julia Gray at the 2015 Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

New this year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park are partnering to offer an artist in residence program at the Schoodic Institute in order to provide more opportunities for park visitors to learn about Wabanaki history and culture.

The artist, Gina Brooks, Maliseet, works in many art forms, including pen and ink, acrylic paint, ash baskets, quillwork, moosehair embroidery, and countless more. Considering herself an artist that is informed by Wabanaki culture and tradition, Gina uses traditional knowledge and designs to create intricate, one of a kind pieces that often reflect Wabanaki oral histories. Join Gina at various times during the week to learn about her different mediums, artistic process, and cultural influence as a professional artist.

Monday, July 25

Painting Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7:30 – 8:30 pm

Rain Date: July 26

Tuesday, July 26

Basketmaking Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, July 27

Porcupine Quill and Moosehair Embroidery Demonstration at Nature Center Patio, Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park

11 am – 3 pm

Rain Location: Abbe Museum downtown

Wednesday, July 27

Storytelling at Schoodic Woods

7 – 8 pm

Thursday, July 28

Birchbark Etching Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

11 am – 3 pm

Friday, July 29

Pen and Ink Demonstration at Dorr Hall, Schoodic Institute

9 am – 12 pm

Location: Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, 9 Atterbury Cir, Winter Harbor, ME 04693

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23rd Annual Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market

The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market will celebrate 23 years on July 9, 2016, from 10 am to 4 pm at College of the Atlantic (COA). The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and delicious food. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), and COA, the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists.

“This will be my 12th year participating in the Festival, as a jewelry vendor,” said Donna Brown, Penobscot, who attended the 2015 Festival as an Abbe Museum Wabanaki Artist Fellow. “This festival brings together a blend of creativity, culture, and sharing of knowledge that is surrounded by the joyous energy of vendors, festival organizers, volunteers, collectors of Native American art, and visitors from around the world. The support and exposure that I have received by attending this festival have greatly influenced my career as an artist, and as a result, I have been able to move forward with confidence, as well as the knowledge, that there is a great market for Native American jewelry.”

The Festival itself began in 1989 at the Abbe and moved around to several locations in town before landing at COA. The location on the ocean-front grounds of the college allowed the Festival to grow, with ample space for vendors and parking for many more guests. This nationally renowned Indian Market features exquisite handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls, and other handcrafted items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people of Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes.

MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new, “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. Many of these talented basketmakers first got their start at the Festival over the 23 years it has been in Bar Harbor.

From a bow-drill fire starting demonstration to children’s storytelling to a Mosquito Dance to a Wabanaki cuisine demonstration to a regalia making demonstration to a silent auction, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

Parking is limited, and public transportation is available. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Island Explorer bus system which stops at COA. The grounds of the College of the Atlantic are handicap accessible.

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes. www.maineindianbaskets.org

Abbe Museum Free Admission Program to Continue in 2016

Machias Savings Bank Branch Manager Matt Horton presents Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check in support of the Abbe's free admission program.

The Abbe Museum will continue to offer free admission in 2016, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free on select days throughout the summer and fall, as well as from November through December.

“For the past 24 years, Machias Savings Bank has been an incredibly generous supporter of the Abbe Museum,” said Abbe President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Thanks to their support, our free admission program during the 2015 winter months made a substantial impact on the Maine community. Not only did our visitor numbers dramatically increase—from approximately 900 in 2014 to 1,100 in 2015—we also received verbal and written comments from guests about how pleased they were to be able to visit the Museum for free during the quieter months.”

As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe’s free admission program aligns nicely with the Smithsonian’s goal of being easily accessible to the public, and it helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. In 2016, the Abbe will be open free to the public on the following dates:

  • Opening day (May 1)
  • Memorial Day (May 30)
  • July 4th 
  • Labor Day (September 5)
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 10)
  • Winter of 2016 (Thursdays-Saturdays in November and December)

The Abbe anticipates a lot more traffic in 2016 due in part to the opening of their new core exhibit and it being Acadia’s centennial year. Offering free admission on key dates will give visitors something the Museum has never actually done before: free admittance on high profile, popular holidays.

“We at Machias Savings Bank are once again honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission to all that the Museum has to offer,” said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "And especially with the installation of the new core exhibit, People of the First Light, I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”

The Abbe is currently closed through the end of April 2016 while its new core exhibit is designed and installed in the Museum’s main gallery. The exhibit, People of the First Light, is the first large-scale permanent exhibit of its kind for the Abbe.

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce 2016 Fellowship Program

The Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC are pleased to announce the second annual Fellowship program, designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities. Three fellowships will be awarded to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. The submission deadline is midnight on April 15, 2016.

“In our efforts to foster and promote contemporary Wabanaki art in both a regional and national context, these fellowships are designed to help Wabanaki artists promote their work within the greater artistic communities,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko.

Two fellowships will be awarded to artists attending the 2016 Southwestern Association for Indian Art’s Santa Fe Indian Market, and one shall be awarded to an artist attending one or more of the four annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance shows:

  • Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market in Bar Harbor - July 9, 2016
  • Maine Native American Summer Market & Demonstration in New Gloucester – August 27, 2016
  • Common Ground Country Fair in Unity - September 23-25, 2016
  • Maine Indian Basketmakers Holiday Market in Orono - December 10, 2016

All applicants must provide proof of acceptance or eligibility to participate in the markets for the 2016 year. Each applicant is also expected to attend the Abbe’s Annual Meeting on June 3, 2016, to offer a demonstration and meet the donors (travel accommodations will be provided). In addition, they will provide a closing report by no later than December 15, 2016. Ten percent of the grant award will be held until this report is filed.

Visit www.abbemuseum.org/shop for eligibility details, including an application. Fellowship applications received before the deadline of April 15, 2016, at midnight will be added to the pool of applicants. The application will be entered into a lottery system where eligible applications will be pulled randomly from the pool. Award notification will be made on or before May 1, 2016.

About Dawnland, LLC
Dawnland, LLC operates the Jordan Pond House restaurant, including the traditional tea and popovers on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond and the Bubbles, and retail services at Jordan Pond House, Cadillac Mountain, and Thunder Hole. Dawnland's parent company, Ortega National Parks, LLC, has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and over 16 years' experience operating concessions in the National Park Service, including at Bandelier National Monument, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, Death Valley and Gateway National Recreation Area.

Sponsor an art supply kit for $25 and inspire a young artist

The Abbe Museum is gearing up for our 15th annual Waponahki Student Art show, in collaboration with Maine Indian Education. This art show and artist reception always bring together a wonderful variety of art created by approximately 35 Passamaquoddy and Penobscot students from early childhood education through high school. And exciting news for this year, for the first time ever the show will also include student artwork from the Micmac and Maliseet communities in northern Maine! All the artwork will be on display in the Abbe's main gallery for six months.

As an award for having their artwork selected for this fan-favorite show, each student receives an art supply kit consisting of a few items to feed their artistic passion - sketch pads, paints, paint brushes, charcoal, pencils, pencil holders - and a framed certificate.

The Abbe Museum has been able to produce these popular kits through the support of Maine Indian Education and generous donations from community members like you. With the inclusion of Micmac and Maliseet student artists this year, your added support will make this a rewarding experience for all the young artists involved.

For just $25, you can sponsor one of these art supply kits, ensuring that each student receives an award for their creativity.

Each sponsor will have a kit named in their honor, as well as receive an invitation to the Waponahki Student Art reception held in May, which is usually a private reception reserved for students and their friends and families.

Please join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. 100% of your gift will directly fund these student art supply kits.

Abbe Museum to Make the Case for Museums on Capitol Hill

Local Museum Leaders to Join Hundreds of Citizen-Lobbyists from Across the Country Feb. 22-23

Abbe President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. Photo by Rogier van Bakel.

Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Director of Collections and Interpretation, Julia Gray, will travel to Washington, D.C. February 22-23 to petition our government and make the case for museums.

Joined by other museum leaders from Maine, Catlin-Legutko and Gray will be visiting members of Congress and their staff to make the case for federal support of America’s museums. They will be among more than 200 museum professionals and supporters from across the country participating in the eighth annual Museums Advocacy Day, organized by the American Alliance of Museums.

Catlin-Legutko and Gray are rising to the occasion to educate elected officials and inspire support for museums, at a critical time—just as Congress begins its work for the year.

“Legislators have a lot of issues on their plates, and we can’t expect them to fully appreciate the museum field unless we bring the message to their doorstep,” said Catlin-Legutko. “We want to make sure Congress knows about the indispensable work museums do, and their role as educational and economic assets.”

As the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine, the Abbe Museum is trying to do more than just be a cultural and historical institution. Education is central to its mission, and with the launch of a new strategic plan this past fall, the Abbe’s mission hasn’t changed, but its vision has a new focus.

“Decolonization, which means sharing authority for the documentation and interpretation of Native culture, has been the Museum’s touchstone and guiding principle for many years,” said Catlin-Legutko. “As the only museum in the world dedicated to telling the story of the Wabanaki, we are committed to an ongoing process of better understanding Wabanaki culture, history, and values and examining and changing our practices to assure they reflect those values.”

Decolonization is an emerging concept in museum practice in the United States, and the Abbe is deeply committed to work that positively impacts the tribal communities and the museum industry. The Abbe is already a resource and a model that the museum field turns to for ideas, solutions, and strategies for comprehensive museum decolonization and the board and staff will deepen and broaden that commitment.

Abbe Museum Director of Collections and Interpretation Julia Gray. 

This is emblematic of the work museums of all types and sizes are doing nationally. According to the American Alliance of Museums, there are more than 850 million museum visits annually in the U.S.– more than the attendance at all major league sporting events combined. Museums invest more than $2 billion in educational programs each year, serving Americans of all ages and income levels, in a variety of ways. There are more than 55 million visits by schoolchildren to U.S. museums each year, and museums are among the most trusted sources of information for Americans.

Another study found that for every $1 invested in museums and other cultural organizations, over $5 is returned in tax revenues through cultural tourism and related economic activity.

Catlin-Legutko and Gray will be sharing these and other facts about museums with the Maine Congressional delegation.

“Museums are essential to communities everywhere, as part of our educational infrastructure, as economic engines, and as community assets that improve the overall quality of life,” said American Alliance of Museums President and CEO Laura L. Lott. “We feel privileged that Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko and Julia Gray will be joining us in Washington for Museums Advocacy Day. The Abbe Museum is doing extraordinary work in Bar Harbor and the members of Congress from Maine need to hear from constituents about how the Museum serves its community.”

For more information on the Abbe Museum, visit www.abbemuseum.org. For more information on museums and their impact on communities nationally, visit www.aam-us.org.

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Peacebuilding at the Abbe

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is the largest annual event in peacemaking. Needless to say, attending an event such as this is an incredibly daunting task—especially when you’ve been chosen to be the first Native youth delegate to attend.

Why was I chosen? Could they not find someone better? What if I speak too strongly, or am not strong enough? What if I misrepresent my people? What if?

These questions raced through my mind at what seemed like a thousand times per second as I checked in at the Bar Harbor International Airport. With my hand drum and my mother’s eagle feather tucked into a compartment on the wing of the tiny plane, I embarked on a journey that already felt like one of the most significant and terrifying experiences of my life. 

I was excited to be able to hear from the Nobel Laureate’s directly—last year, due to various political reasons, the Summit was postponed and I attended the Global Youth Peace Indaba in Capetown, South Africa, instead. I knew that the Summit would be very different from the Indaba, and the chance to be able to ask questions of today’s leading peacemakers made me feel nervous and intimidated. I arrived in Barcelona, Spain, prepared to consider ways in which peacebuilding can be incorporated into my work at the Abbe Museum and armed with the goal of creating the first Native Youth Delegation to the Summit in 2016. After visiting the city in high school and spending three months there as an undergraduate, it was as if I was returning to a home away from home.

Plaza Espanya, Barcelona

After one brief evening of getting to know the other delegates, the Summit began like a whirlwind. The opening ceremony and sessions took place at the Universitat de Barcelona and began with a welcome by the mayor of the city, Ada Colau. I found that even though I hadn’t heard the Catalán language since I left the city in 2008, I understood the majority of what was said! Not only did Mayor Colau express gratitude to the Laureates and Secretariat for choosing Barcelona, but she also set the tone for the rest of the Summit by publicly stating that Barcelona would welcome Syrian refugees. This led to larger discussions regarding refugees, with other Laureates pointing out the fact that this is not a new humanitarian crisis, and that the root causes of war must be eliminated in order to create peace. Laureate Mairead Maguire, from Northern Ireland, stated that eliminating the roots of war—specifically, ending militarism—would ultimately be up to young people. She believes that the youth is more ingenious than previous generations, and she apologized to the youth delegates for the world that would one day be handed to us.

Me and Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire.

Laureate Mohammed Yunus, from Bangladesh, echoed Maguire’s message, stating that creating a new civilization is the mission of our generation. He stated that, with 20 million refugees around the globe, the world needs direction from the peace Laureates. His message was that the concentration of wealth and the unemployment of young people worldwide ultimately makes for an unsustainable society; he encouraged that we, as human beings, are not job seekers but job creators and that unemployment is the artificial creation of wrong-thinking. If we are to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, then we, as young people, needed to take action. These goals are meant to serve as guiding steps to achieving sustainable world peace.

Each of the youth delegations nominated two participants to contribute to the creation of the 2015 Youth Declaration of Peace, which would be composed of declarations pertaining to each of the Sustainable Development Goals. Students and young activists from around the world discussed ways in which we, as young people, can work to achieve these goals, and working with my colleagues from LUISS (Libera Università Internazionale degli Studio Sociali Guido Carli), Oxford University, and PeaceJam, the following was written to accompany goal number ten, “Reducing Inequalities:”    

Financial inequality, ongoing colonization, refusal of reconciliation, institutionalized and non-institutionalized discrimination, and the disparate distribution and development of agricultural and medical resources are just a few of the challenges concerning the reduction of inequality; the role of youth is key to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through raising awareness and constantly learning; an effective preliminary solution for eliminating these social constructs is to encourage the unconditional appreciation of all human life (The Youth Declaration of Peace).

Me and other Youth Delegates after the American Friends Service Committee Workshop.

I knew that the Youth Declaration was going to be read during the closing ceremony of the Summit, but I was still surprised when my colleagues informed me that, while I was in the restroom, they had unanimously decided that I would read our section. Aloud. On a stage. In front of all the participating Laureates. The next morning, I met with the other delegates assigned to read the declaration and prepared to read in front of the world’s leaders in peacebuilding. I was, to say the least, absolutely terrified, and have never been more thankful for my theater degree. With my drum keeping my hands steady and my mother’s feather giving me strength, I walked on stage with representatives from the other delegations.

Me at Font Magica, Barcelona

My experiences in Barcelona were far too many for me to effectively summarize in one blog post. I reconnected with old friends while making amazing new ones; returned to a city that I adore; was able to ask questions of incredible peace builders including Jody Williams (a driving force in the launching of an international campaign against landmines), Tawakkol Karman (she has been called the "Iron Woman" and "Mother of the Revolution"), and Frederik Willem de Klerk (the former State President of South Africa!), and excitedly told anyone that would listen how the Abbe tackles social justice issues in a museum setting. Now, I’m conducting research to create the FIRST EVER Native Youth Delegation to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates for 2016, and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this history!

Me and Nobel Laureate Jody Williams

There were an infinite amount of meaningful messages received at the Summit. If I were to boil all of these messages down into core lessons, they would be as follows: Mohammed Yunus taught me that youth is key to making change; Mairead Maguire reaffirmed that dialogue is essential to making peace; Frederik Willem de Klerk encouraged that reconciliation is essential to decolonization, and Jody Williams stressed that empathy must be converted into action. With these lessons being added to my peacebuilding toolkit, it is my hope to share these messages with other Indigenous youth and ultimately contribute to the cultivation of sustainable peace, and create a world that my grandchildren will be proud to be a part of.

Thank you to the American Friends Service Committee, an amazing organization that made my journey possible.

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Observatory Telescopes.

The Abbe Museum, the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine, is pleased to announce its participation in the

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II (YCCC II) program. By partnering with schools in the Wabanaki communities, students have the opportunity to research, learn about, and photograph the cosmos using telescopes owned and maintained by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The resulting exhibit,  Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland, will open on September 10 to coincide with theAcadia Night Sky Festival.

“The goal of the YCCC II program is to use hands-on exercises to teach youth how to control the MicroObservatory robotic telescopes over the internet and take their own images of the universe,” said Abbe Museum Educator George Neptune, Passamaquoddy. “Here at the Abbe, the project also encouraged students to choose subjects based on Wabanaki stories about the stars. Each student had the opportunity to research traditional stories and interpret them in a modern context using 21st century technology.”

Originally beginning as anonline exhibit featuring the Indian Township School, the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland exhibit features photos taken by children in the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, and Micmac communities in Maine. After hearing the Wabanaki night sky stories, each student was asked to choose a photography subject that they could connect to the stories—that inspired them in some way. Once targets were chosen, students selected parameters such as exposure time, color filters, and zoom angles to ensure a high quality photo. The images were then captured by the telescopes after sunset, and emailed to the students.

Once the students received their images, they began using the MicroObservatory Image software to edit and colorize the photos. Students were able to remove noise—extra light in the photo that did not come from celestial bodies—before sharpening the lights, changing light levels and contrast, and finally, colorizing the photos.

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland is open through 2016. The Abbe Museum is open seven days a week now through October. Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos is funded by the Smithsonian Institution's Youth Access Grants program awarded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. The project is led by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations.

About Smithsonian Affiliations
Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available a www.affiliations.si.edu.

About the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. More information is available at www.cfa.harvard.edu/.

About the Acadia Night Sky Festival
The 7th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival is set for September 10-14, 2015, and is already packed with a full schedule of events. With workshops, internationally recognized speakers and hands-on experiences, there truly is something for everyone from families to the serious amateur astronomer. www.acadianightskyfestival.com/

Birchbark Wikuwam Demo with David Moses Bridges

David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, has spent the past three days out at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park reconstructing a traditional wikuwam. David is an award winning birchbark artist who has received national recognition for his work. From splitting spruce root to collecting birchbark, David has spent the past few days demonstrating his craft to more than 750 visitors, sharing stories of his childhood and career as an artist, and answering questions about this labor intensive process.

This program is part of the Cultural Connections in the Park series, which

happen throughout the summer

in and around Acadia National Park. All of these programs are sponsored by Dawnland, LLC, are offered in partnership with Acadia National Park, and are free and open to the public.