Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin

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Task Detail

Chapter 9: Cultural Heritage and Recreation Resources


Provide support for needed historical and archeological research and accelerate the identification, evaluation, protection, and interpretation of heritage resources, including ethnographies of the cultures within the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.


Support ethnographic research and documentation of the cultures within the CVNHP.

  • Task ID #: 9.1.2
  • Lead Partners: LCBP

Task Comments

  • Date Posted: 05/08/12
  • Update Relevancy: 04/11 - 03/12
  • Comment Posted By: Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Sub-watershed: Winooski
  • Jurisdiction: VT

Through a $10,000 grant from the CVNHP/LCBP, the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center developed the “Indigenous Expressions: Contemporary Native Peoples of the Lake Champlain Basin Audio Project.” Using QR codes and cell phones, the new interpretation brings the spoken voice to a collection of photographs of contemporary Native Americans in the Champlain Valley.

ECHO has worked in close collaboration with the Native American community in Vermont and New York since 2007 in preparation for the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial commemoration. The museum/community partnership developed an exhibit: “Indigenous Expressions: Native Peoples of the Lake Champlain Basin,” which is a collection of thirteen Native American exhibits and a contemporary Portrait Gallery with twenty photographs of self-selected families and individuals from throughout the Basin.

The partnership also developed and presented a wide variety of Native American public programs for all ages in 2009-2010, including “Materials of Culture: 10,200 years of Abenaki Clothing, Ceremony, and Implements,” a 1609 Abenaki Encampment, a photoethnography program and dance performances with “The Circle of Courage” dancers from Swanton, VT, and lectures from Native scholars.

During the 13-day International Waterfront Festival in July 2009, ECHO and the Native community welcomed 8,604 guests to our Native American events, and over 275,000 visited the exhibits. Inspired by this amicable partnership, and with previous permission, ECHO expanded its work with the Basin’s Native community to collect, share, and archive interviews, traditional cultural and natural sounds, and music, to produce a myriad of audio from Native soundscapes (a combination of sounds that form an immersive environment) to first-person stories. The audio project extends cultural interpretation and programming that began during the Quadricentennial and brings to life the material culture and life-way traditions that ECHO currently shares with its guests.

Associated Files

  • Date Posted: 05/08/12
  • Update Relevancy: 06/11 - 02/12
  • Comment Posted By: Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Sub-watershed: Bouquet/Ausable, Saranac/Chazy
  • Jurisdiction: NY

Through a $10,000 Quadricentennial Legacy Grant from the CVNHP/LCBP, the Clinton County Historical Association researched and developed a new museum exhibit interpreting the association’s vast inventory of Native American artifacts. The “Cultural Crossroads/Contested Territory: 12,000 Years of Occupation” exhibit includes eight separate displays focused on Native American history and culture ranging from the Paleolithic era to today.

The grant allowed the association to focus on its collection of Native American artifacts and make information about the collection more accessible to students and researchers; it also created a forum for local collectors and educators to bring in objects, share information, loan items for the exhibit and learn more about the earliest inhabitants of what has become Clinton County and about their continuing legacy. Since the association made new connections that led to additional information and loans to process, interpretive elements were adapted to reflect more local material that has a provenance to known sites within the county.

The grant also provided funding for an assessment of the association’s collection of resources relating to Franco-American heritage in Clinton County. The association determined major interpretive themes for approaching the subject and will work to develop these further towards the planning of a future exhibit. The themes include Language & Education, Naming, Early French/Franco American Influence, Professions & Trades, Family Life, Religious Life/The Church, Celebrations & Festivals, On the Border, and Fraternity/Mutual Aid.

  • Date Posted: 11/03/11
  • Update Relevancy: 05/11 - 11/11
  • Comment Posted By: Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Sub-watershed: Bouquet/Ausable, Saranac/Chazy
  • Jurisdiction: NY

The Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) received a Quadricentennial Legacy Grant from the CVNHP to research and interpret the region’s Native American and Franco-American heritage. The Native American research will result in a new exhibit at the Association’s museum utilizing CCHA’s extensive collection of indigenous artifacts. The association is also developing an inventory of Franco-American objects, documents and stories that will serve as the basis for a future exhibit.

  • Date Posted: 10/28/11
  • Update Relevancy: 07/11 - 09/11
  • Comment Posted By: Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Sub-watershed: Lake Champlain, Poultney-Mettowee/South, Saranac/Chazy, Winooski
  • Jurisdiction: NY/VT

Starting in July, 2011 and ending August 27, 2011, the Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) presented five regional Native American writers—David Fadden, Doug George, Joe Bruchac, Jesse Bruchac, and Robin Kimmere—at four events in New York and Vermont.

The ACW carefully chose organizations or institutions that have a deep appreciation for the cultural legacy of Native Americans in the region. Each venue helped to promote the events, mobilizing their membership base and their local media sources. Attendance at these events was impressive and a direct result of the collaboration between ACW and each of these partners.
Each of the following partners hosted one of the readings:
1.) Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York.
2.) Samuel Champlain Cultural Center, Champlain, New York
3.) ECHO, Burlington, Vermont
4.) The Paul Smiths VIC, Paul Smiths, New York

Each of these events was professionally videotaped by Joel Hurd of North Country Public Radio. Links to videos of the events are available at : http://www.adirondackcenterforwriting.org/index.php?p=23.

  • Date Posted: 09/23/11
  • Update Relevancy: 04/11 - 09/11
  • Comment Posted By: Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Sub-watershed: Grand Isle, Lake Champlain, Lamoille, Missisquoi, Otter/Lewis, Poultney-Mettowee/South, Winooski
  • Jurisdiction: VT

Franco-American culture in the region focused on home life with lively gatherings hosted by families, which kept songbooks of the various folk music played at these soirees. The Chansons and Fiddle Tunes project builds on a project previously funded by the LCBP and the CVNHP: The Martha Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song. The earlier support provided by LCBP allowed the Vermont Folklife Center (VFC) to catalog and create a database of Franco-American musical materials collected by the late Martha Pellerin. (http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/chansons/)

Chansons and Fiddle Tunes continues where the previous project left off, with two primary goals in mind: 1. The modification of the extant online Omeka database from a specific resource dedicated to The Martha Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song to a general online access platform for the VFC Archive; and 2. Digitization, transcription, cataloging and data entry aimed at making available related to an additional collection of Franco-American music materials, the Derosier Family Collection.

Site Last Updated: March 18, 2015

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