Community Activities

Gedakina co-organizes and supports Community Activities and Events, including:

Camp Neeloon – an annual weeklong summer camp for at-risk youth whose families receive assistance from Wabanaki Health & Wellness.  Gedakina provides staff and volunteer support.

Deer Island Memorial Paddle and Ceremony – an annual Day of Remembrance in memory of the Native peoples forcibly removed in October 1675 from South Natick and the other “Praying Towns” in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and imprisoned on Deer Island in Boston Harbor, during the resistance known as King Phillip’s War.  The few who survived returned to their aboriginal homelands to rebuild their lives and tribal nations.  We remember the ancestors’ sacrifice and survival through ceremony on Deer Island and a Sacred Paddle and Walk.  The day ends with a final ceremony at the falls in South Natick and Potluck Feast and Social. Co-organized with the Natick Nipmuc Indian Council.

Justice for the River – Gedakina is a lead partner in supporting the Penobscot Nation in their efforts to protect the Penobscot River from over-development and pollution.

Passmaquoddy Ancestor Paddle – an annual community paddle from Indian Township to Pleasant Point reservations in Maine. In 2015 Gedakina’s role transitioned from being a partner, to leading this critically important event due to tribal politics.

Penobscot Language Immersion Gathering, 2016 – a two-day language immersion gathering led by speakers of Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot dialects of the Wabanaki language. Co-organized with the Penobscot Nation Department of Cultural and Historical Preservation. Due to the success of this year’s gathering we are working with language keepers to conduct gatherings on a quarterly basis for 2017.

Wabanaki Spring Social – 2017 will represent the 20th year of the largest community social gathering in Maine for Wabanaki people, co-led by Gedakina and Wabanaki Health & Wellness. Gedakina cofounders and Guiding Council members helped create this important community event as a way to check in on community members, especially Elders, after Maine’s hard winters, and as a way to support cultural continuance for Wabanaki people from New England, southern Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Over 750 community members attend annually.

Additionally, Gedakina regularly collaborates with community-based organizations, social justice centers, colleges and universities on educational and awareness building events, including discussion panels, symposia, speakers and films. Recently we co-sponsored RISE UP! spoken word events, the Sing Our River Red (SORR) exhibit, panels on Decolonization, Environmental Justice, and Place-based History, as well as presentations by Indigenous academic and community scholars.  In spring 2016 we will be collaborating on a TEK symposium with Amherst College and Five College Native and Indigenous Studies.