“Seeds of Renewal” Abenaki Agriculture Exhibit on Display

The Saint Albans Museum is pleased to host a special exhibition – Seeds of Renewal – on loan from the Vermont Historical Society from August 28 through October 4, 2019.
The Seeds of Renewal exhibition was created in 2018 by the Vermont Historical Society in partnership with Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman, an Abenaki community member and retired professor and department chair of humanities at Johnson State College. Wiseman developed the Seeds of Renewal Project in 2011 to recover the produce raised and consumed by the Abenaki communities of the Far Northeast, and to reclaim the traditional cuisine of the Abenaki region, along with the systems surrounding seed nurturance such as agricultural technology and engineering, song, dance, and ceremony.
The exhibit includes panels exploring Abenaki agricultural history and techniques, varieties of indigenous Abenaki plants, agricultural ceremony and harvest dinners, and cooking techniques. It also includes models of indigenous squash varieties, examples of different types of indigenous corn, and recipes. The exhibit aims to raise awareness of Abenaki agricultural history, cuisine, and ceremony, and how one can play an active role in Indigenous cultural awareness and revitalization.
“This is the first museum exhibition in Northeastern North America that is focused on the ecology of the region’s modern Indigenous peoples.  It serves as a prototype for future interpretations of the critical ancestral seeds and environmental knowledges still held by Native communities from Nova Scotia to New York State.  If it leads to one more crop variety saved from extinction, or an improved relationship between indigenous and Euroamerican gardeners, it will have served its purpose,” said Wiseman.
Support for the exhibit was provided by a Making of Nations Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) and funding from the Montpelier Community Fund.