The Undergraduate Program’s Graduation Ceremony was particularly special today, Feb. 28, 2016. It included a truly remarkable lineup of graduates. Plus, the graduates invited the incomparable Dr. Lisa Brooks (BA ’93) to be their commencement speaker.
Lisa Brooks, whose Abenaki identity informed a large part of her own Goddard studies as well as her ongoing work as a scholar and professor at Amherst College, invited members of the Missisquoi Tribe of the Abenaki Nation to be honored at graduation.
Cheyenne Lampman, Louise Lampman Larivee, Alex Larivee, and Cheryl Fregeau (pictured above, with Lisa Brooks on the right) joined us for graduation lunch with Goddard President Robert Kenny and were recognized movingly by Lisa Brooks during her commencement address.
Lisa Brooks also gave President Kenny a wampum to signify the relationship between the Missisquoi Tribe and Goddard College. President Kenny accepted as a statement of Goddard’s commitment to this relationship.
Program Director Muriel Shockley emceeing the moving graduation ceremony.
With the guidance of Cheyenne Lampman, Louise Lampman Larivee, Alex Larivee, Cheryl Fregeau, and Lisa Brooks, Goddard College and the Undergraduate Program have an Abenaki acknowledgement to read at our graduations and other important events:
We acknowledge this land we sit on and the people whose home this is. This land is the land of the aborginial Abenaki people who have lived here for over 12,900 years. The Abenaki people faced centuries of war and disease stemming from the European invasion, continued eradication pre and post American Revolution and sterilization as a result of the Vermont Eugenics laws in the 20th century. The resilience and strength of the Abenaki people continues to manifest itself today in their protection of the land and their communities. As members of the Missiquoi Tribe of the Abenaki Nation shared with us, “We will always stand up and protect our aboriginal title.”