December 3, 2019
Indigenous Stories at the Library
Winter – Spring 2020
Note: due to the high level of interest in this series, we now require registration for each event. Please visit the links below to register.
The city of Portsmouth is on the homelands of the Abenaki people, who have ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this area. According to Tribal oral tradition, Abenaki people have lived in the place now called New Hampshire for more than 12,000 years—since before Tribal memory. The Abenaki are part of a larger group of Indigenous people who called themselves Wabanaki or “People of the Dawn,” and form one of many communities connected by a common Algonquian language family. To honor this history, in 2020 Portsmouth Public Library will begin hosting a monthly series of Indigenous Stories, featuring speakers on Indigenous culture, history and perspectives. This series is cosponsored by Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth 400 and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective, and is free and open to all!
People of the Dawnland
Dr. Alexandra Martin & Anne Jennison, Strawbery Banke
Tuesday February 4 | 6:30 PM
“People of the Dawnland,” an interactive exhibit at Strawbery Banke, is a space for learning more about the Abenaki, People of the Dawnland, past and present, by exploring their culture, arts, foodways and storytelling traditions. Objects found by archaeologists in the Puddle Dock neighborhood of Strawbery Banke include pottery and stone tools; and demonstrate that Native people have been here for millennia. Anne Jennison, a Strawbery Banke interpreter of European and Abenaki ancestry, and Dr. Alexandra Martin, a non-Native Professor of Native Studies in the Anthropology Department at UNH, and will share their experiences and thoughts about creating the exhibit. View this event on Facebook!
Abenaki Horticulture & Garden Forestry
Dr. Fred Wiseman
Monday March 2 | 6:30 PM
Dr. Fred Wiseman, Chair, Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center Committee and Director, Seeds of Renewal Project, will give a short but comprehensive introduction to ancient Abenaki (and related Wabanaki) food systems. Topics covered will include the politics, archaeology, science and spirituality of the "Seven Sisters" Indigenous Wabanaki crops, and the new discoveries and revival of Indigenous Vermont sustainable herbaceous-crop agro-engineering, and agro-forestry using native perennials and woody species. Also included will be a discussion of Abenaki agricultural ceremony, cuisine and seed-saving. Dr. Wiseman has a Ph.D in Paleoenvironmental Studies with a specialty in Paleoethnobiology. View this event on Facebook!