Lecture with Jesse Bowman Bruchac

A light-skinned man with short facial hair and glasses stands at a microphone wearing a brown coat closed over a white shirt.
Jesse Bowman Bruchac. Photo by Eric Jenks.

Join the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) in person on Thursday, April 7, at 7 pm for a lecture from Jesse Bowman Bruchac, who will offer a presentation shaped around stories and music, drawing on his thirty years of language reclamation work in relation to both traditional culture and modern media. A Nulhegan Abenaki Citizen, Jesse is a traditional storyteller, musician, and Abenaki language instructor. He works as co-director of his family run education center Ndakinna and is the Director of the School of Abenaki at Middlebury Language Schools. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Anthropology Department and Black Studies Program. It will be followed by a Q&A session.

About Jesse Bowman Bruchac

Jesse Bowman Bruchac is a Nulhegan Abenaki Citizen. He is traditional storyteller, musician, and Abenaki language instructor. As one of the last fluent speakers of Western Abenaki, he works vigorously to revitalize the language. His efforts have led to the creation of a Western Abenaki website, Youtube channel, Facebook group, and a number of bilingual publications. Following in the footsteps of his father Joseph Bruchac, Jesse has been visiting schools and universities to share Northeastern Native American traditional stories, music, language, history and culture for over two decades. As a musician he has produced several albums of Abenaki music. These include collections of traditional songs of drum and rattle and Native American flute music. He has opened for such notable acts as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and at Woodstock ’94. He won the Best Storyteller Competition at Indian Summer in Milwaukee in 1995. In 1996 he toured Europe as a member of the Abenaki Drum from the Odanak reservation in Quebec. Jesse has also acted as consultant, translator, composer, and language coach for programs on AMC, National Geographic, and PBS. Jesse began learning stories, songs, and language as a child from his father, as well as elders his family would often visit in Vermont, Maine, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, and Canada. He began studying the language in earnest at the age of 20 from Cecile Wawanolette in 1992. He studied with her, and dozens of other speakers at the Abenaki reservation of Odanak, Quebec for over a decade. He has continued to learn and teach the language with Cecile’s son Joseph Elie Joubert. In the fall of 2018 he began co-teaching a course in Wabanaki languages alongside renowned Eastern Algonquin linguist Conor Quinn at the University of Southern Maine.

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