The Retreat Farm, established to provide food and work experiences in nature for patients at the nearby Brattleboro Retreat mental hospital founded in 1834, is recognized to be situated on important ancestral Abenaki lands.
These audio pieces discuss how language was used to subvert Indigenous truths and is now being employed to renew the much longer-held indigenous names of this place.
Segment 1: Captures voices from sign unveiling Summer 2020 at the edge of the Meadows across Rt. 30 from the farm -- celebrates the resurrection of indigenous names and enduring presence at Brattleboro/Wantastagok - the confluence of the West (Wantastekw) and Connecticut (Kwenitekw) Rivers.
Voices include: Elnu Abenaki Chief Roger Steptoe Sheehan, Rich Holschuh, Retreat Farm's Buzz Schmidt, VT State Senator Becca Balint and VT State Rep. Sara Coffey
Segment 2 - Singing and interview with Elnu Abenaki Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan about the vast Wabanaki Confederacy and where the Western Abenaki fit in.
Additional Segments: Be sure to listen to other audio segments along the Trail, listed below, including the The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) version of Retreat Farm history with Script and Narration from Rich Holschuh (site: Fort Drummer & DAR Rock)
Audio Editing & Production: Donna Blackney
Narration: Donna Blackney
Voices: Rich Holschuh, Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan
Ongoing Development and Involvement:
As a community-created project, we encourage ongoing dialogue, questions, and engagement. If you would like to be involved in future developments, have information or a perspective that could deepen others' understanding of this topic, please contact us