David Mulholland

'A mendable stitch to bolster our common fragile social fabric of a shared community'

Abenaki and non-Abenaki at the Living Earth Action Group–sponsored gathering in Westminster West Jan. 21 exemplified "community" in the broadest of terms.

Abenaki present relayed experiences from their history that recounted millennia-deep cultural roots throughout northern New England and southeastern Canada, as well as the nearly-five-century history of destructive encroachment on their lands.

Efforts of invading colonial powers yielded, among other things, modern isolation among Abenaki bands. From distant lands, resultant imposed political boundaries and subsequent rules slowly tore the communal fabric of Abenaki and other Indigenous peoples while simultaneously promulgating violent rivalries among European colonial peoples that broadly sowed destructive isolation among colonists living far from home in North America.

At times, these ill-intended efforts erupted into open violence in oft-written broad subcontinental wars, reenacted regional conflicts, or less-publicized-but-equally-felt localized actions.

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