Photo: Michael Browning

Wabanaki History, Ecology & Experiences is a series of programs exploring Indigenous history and experiences in what is now called northern New England, a collaboration between the Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth and the Chocorua Lake Conservancy, made possible through a generous grant from The Tamworth Foundation. Programs will be held in fall 2021 through summer 2022. Note that none of the programs will be recorded.

Read or download our Resource List to explore further.

Upcoming Programs:

Book Discussion: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Tuesday, August 23 at 6:30 PM, in person, outside behind the library. (We’ll have an indoor location at or near the library in case of rain). A New Hampshire Humanities Perspectives book discussion led by Damian Costello. (Thanks, New Hampshire Humanities for the grant that allows us to include this program in our program series!) Adult and teen readers are invited to participate in the discussion. Copies of the book Braiding Sweetgrass may be borrowed ahead of time at the library. Register for the discussion at the library when borrowing a copy of the book, or online at bit.ly/CML-CLCdiscussion22. Participants are also invited to a pre-discussion potluck dinner at 6:00 p.m. at the library.

Listening to the Land, Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18. A weekend program series with poet Cheryl Savageau, cosponsored by Cook Library, Chocorua Lake Conservancy, Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts. Part of the Wabanaki History, Ecology, and Experiences program series funded by The Tamworth Foundation. Additional grant funding for this program came from Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts. Details to come.

Past Programs:

12,000 Years Ago in the Granite State, Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM, live via Zoom. Join the Cook Memorial Library, the Tamworth History Center, and Chocorua Lake Conservancy for a New Hampshire Humanities program with Robert Goodby, professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce College.

Poetry and the Land: A Reading and Conversation with Poet Cheryl Savageau,Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM, live via Zoom. Join the Cook Memorial Library and Chocorua Lake Conservancy for a reading and conversation with poet Cheryl Savageau. Savageau’s poems draw on her Abenaki and French heritage, and her deep roots in the Granite State. We’ll have several copies of Savageau’s poetry books to borrow ahead of time at the library.

If you wish to become familiar with poetry by Cheryl Savageau ahead of time, come to Cook Library’s Poetry Hour on Monday, September 27 at 5:00 PM outside in front of the library (weather permitting). We’ll have copies of Savageau’s poetry collections Dirt Road Home and Mother/Land to share, and those who wish can take turns reading poems aloud to the group. Note that Cheryl Savageau will not be at the September 27 Poetry Hour, but will be live on Zoom on September 29.

Dawnland Voices Reading Group, part one, Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 7:00 PM, live via Zoom. Adults and teens are invited to come discuss selections from Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England. (Find the list of readings for part one.) Copies of the book will be available to borrow at the Cook Memorial Library ahead of time.

Kids’ Book Club with visit from author Angeli Perrow, Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 4:00 PM at the library. Kids ages 8 to 12 are invited to pick up copies of Many Hands by Angeli Perrow and Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau to read ahead of time.

Then, on October 20 at 4:00 PM, join Amy at the library for pizza and to talk about the books. At 4:40 or so, author of Many Hands Angeli Perrow will join us virtually to answer readers’ questions, and to talk about Native basketmaking, show some Native musical instruments, and teach the song called Many Hands.

Dawnland film and discussion, Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM, online livestream. In 2013 in Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States began a historic investigation of child welfare authorities removing Native American children from their homes. Emmy award winning film “Dawnland” went behind-the-scenes as this historic body grappled with difficult truths, redefined reconciliation, and charted a new course for state and tribal relations.

Following Dawnland, the short film Dear Georgina will be shown, in which a Passamaquoddy elder journeys into an unclear past to better understand herself and her cultural heritage.

Join Esther Anne of Wabanaki REACH, TRC commissioner gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag), and filmmaker Adam Mazo for a live conversation after the film.

Learn more about the films and watch trailers at upstanderproject.org.

Dawnland Voices Reading Group, part two, Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 7:00 PM, live via Zoom. Adults and teens are invited to come discuss selections from Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England. (Find the list of readings for part two.) Copies of the book will be available to borrow at the Cook Memorial Library ahead of time.

Interacting with Wabanaki-Maine History, Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6:00-8:00 PM, live online. This program with Maine-Wabanaki REACH is an interactive experience in which we engage in a story of particular events in the history of 400 years of colonization of Wabanaki people by Europeans in the territory now called the state of Maine. This highly engaging experience requires our full participation in order to genuinely increase our understanding of colonization and what it means for current descendants and future generations; to reflect on what story we are writing for our grandchildren. Maine-Wabanaki REACH says of their workshops, “Today we are creating a community together.  We are not experts; you are not experts. We will learn from the materials we experience together and from what we share with each other about our own experiences and thoughts.” This is a participatory workshop in which you will be asked to leave your screens on.

Healing Begins with Truth: Understanding Colonization, Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 6:00-8:00 PM, live online. In this 2-hour educational experience with Maine-Wabanaki REACH, participants explore the differences between the worldview and culture of indigenous peoples and settlers (and their descendants). Using historical and present-day examples, participants will examine the deliberate strategies of colonization and resulting impacts on indigenous people, land, and culture. This program is intended to serve as a safe space for participants to join with peers and identify strategies to support healing in relation to each other and to the land. Maine-Wabanaki REACH says of their workshops, “Today we are creating a community together.  We are not experts; you are not experts. We will learn from the materials we experience together and from what we share with each other about our own experiences and thoughts.” This is a participatory workshop in which you will be asked to leave your screens on.

Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire, Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00 PM, live via Zoom. Join the Cook Memorial Library and Chocorua Lake Conservancy for a New Hampshire Humanities program with Robert Goodby, professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce College.

The People of the Dawnland: The Evolution of the Abenaki and Wabanaki Peoples of the Northeast from First European Contact up to the Present, Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 PM live via Zoom. An online presentation by Anne Jennison followed by a Q & A discussion session with the audience. Anne Jennison is a member of both the NH Commission on Native American Affairs and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective.  Additionally, Anne is an affiliate faculty member for the UNH Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Minor and a co-creator of the “People of the Dawnland” interpretive exhibit about the Abenaki/Wabanaki peoples at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. For more info: https://www.annejennison.com.

Indigenous Conservation Today, Monday, July 11 at 6:30 PM, outdoors behind the Cook Memorial Library. “Indigenous Conservation Today” with Paul W. Pouliot and Denise K. Pouliot, leaders of The Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People in Alton, New Hampshire. Paul and Denise presented an Indigenous historical narrative and contemporary response about being the continued “Care Takers” of N’dakinna, our homelands. The presentation highlighted ongoing social and environmental activism and how the attendees can be good stewards of Mother Earth by supporting these Indigenous community activities.