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Wednesday, 30 January 2008  
Vermont Edition (VPR)
Preserving the Abenaki Language and Culture
Wednesday January 30, 2008
Jane Lindholm

Early to mid-20th century was not an easy time to be a Native American in Vermont, and many of
the region's Abenaki downplayed their heritage to avoid discrimination. As a result, the Abenaki
language fell out of use. In recent decades, Abenaki wishing to reclaim their heritage have had to
go to Canada to re-learn the language at an Abenaki settlement there. Our guest, Abenaki basket
maker Jeanne Brink of Barre, is among those who are trying to save the language from extinction.
And we hear from Ellen Lutz, the editor of Cultural Survival Quarterly, about similar efforts by
indigenous groups around the country.(Listen)

Also in the program, we look at a bill that would designate Abenaki-made crafts as officially Native
American. Abenaki crafts-people and other proponents say a 2006 law that recognized Vermont's
Abenaki fell short of federal requirements for marketing their art as Native American.(Listen)

And we listen to a song in the Abenaki language, recorded by Abenaki scholar Marge


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