Vermont Abenaki Bison Project
This project is an innovative model to address native food insecurity and preserve cultural heritage. Abenaki Helping Abenaki (AHA) seeks funding to reinstate a bison herd in Vermont and to thereby develop a model of cultural and societal repair. AHA will establish a genetically pure bison herd on a farm in Vershire, VT to provide a culturally appropriate, sustainable protein source for the tribe at no cost, which is greatly needed as many of Abenaki citizens experience ongoing food insecurity and preventable, diet-related disease. The model also includes a vegetable production component, as well as an on-farm retail/education space for tribal artisans to offer workshops for the public in traditional arts like black ash basket making, porcupine quill embroidery and drum making, sourcing materials directly from the land, providing sales revenue for the project, and revitalizing the rich artisanal crafts tradition deeply embedded in Abenaki cultural heritage.
Once established, this model will be replicable across New England.
Chief Don Stevens
Cheif Don, Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk, Abenaki Nation, provides an overview of the project.
This is just the beginning
When this project has been brought to scale across the region, and the original stewards have reestablished land access, sustainable and secure food sources that are rooted in their cultural heritage, identity and relationship to this landscape, and a revitalized connection to traditional ways of life.
Abenaki Helping Abenaki (AHA) will stand up a scalable and replicable model for food sovereignty and cultural heritage preservation through the establishment and stewardship of a bison herd, a culturally and spiritually significant food source, and an education center featuring tribal knowledge and skills.