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Join us as we journey through time and witness the lives of people who have lived in this region for the last 11,000 years.

"Great Spirit, let me see the land as it was
When our Old Ones first came to Wôbanakik.
Call forth the Soubagwa, the Great Sea from the east
to let it fill our valleys with its teeming life.
Awaken the Ktsiawaasak, the great animals
from their resting places beneath our hills.
Let me see all of this so I may share it with others."

-Medawas 1994.

Taken from The Voice of the Dawn
by Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman

In honor of Lake Champlain’s Quadricentennial, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center presents: INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS: Native Peoples of the Lake Champlain Basin. Through hands on exhibits, live species, a Contemporary Portrait Gallery, speaker’s series, film screenings, and artifacts, see how our Native neighbors’ connections and adaptations to the land allow them to thrive in the Lake Champlain Basin.

This exhibit was built in collaboration with a variety of scholars and experts, featuring Smithsonian Institution Archeologist and Anthropologist Stephen Loring and Abenaki Historian Frederick Wiseman. Explore the multifaceted human-landscape connections that go back thousands of years, from the Paleoindians of the last Ice Age to the Abenaki and Mohawk of today.

Experience eclectically integrated exhibits throughout the entire facility, from touchable artifacts to live American eels. View a collection by acclaimed photographer Ned Castle, along with various screenings of the film “Before the Lake was Champlain” by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ted Timreck. INDIGENOUS EXPRESSIONS offers elements for every age and interest, and aims to present a Native perspective not often taken.




Produced with our television partner
WPTZ NewsChannel 5.

“Mammoth Hunter” illustration:
© Jim Railey/UVM Consulting Archeology Program

The Medicine Man, by Jesse Bowman Bruchac, as heard in our TV ad, features the obscure Northeast Woodlands-style block end whistle, also known as a spruce flute. Listen to the full song below, and find more information on Jesse and his body of work at

©2015 Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center - One College St. - Burlington VT 05401 - 802.864.1848 - 1.877.324.6386
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