Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water

Title image for the short film "Nebi: Abenaki ways of knowing water"

Lake Champlain’s geographic features are central to the Abenaki people’s creation story of the lake. Learn more by watching the short film Nebi.

“The importance of water is often overlooked today. To the Abenaki people, water is the web of life that connects all living things together in both past, present and future generations,” states Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe in the short film, Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water. “For thousands of years, Abenaki stories sharing the importance of water and the creation of Lake Champlain, its basin and Champ have been passed down to the next generation.” The film is a collaboration of Lake Champlain Sea Grant, University of Vermont Extension, Peregrine Productions, and chiefs and members of the Nulhegan, Missisquoi, and Elnu Bands of the Abenaki Nation. It was created to share and help preserve the Abenaki creation stories of the Lake Champlain watershed. Each person interviewed in the film provides insights about the importance of water and the ways that water connects people through time and space.

"This film gives us the opportunity to share indigenous knowledge and values about water from people whose ancestors have been stewards of the environment here for more than 9,000 years," said Kris Stepenuck, Extension program leader for the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program. "We feel incredibly privileged to be able to communicate this knowledge to a wide variety of audiences through our outreach and education programs," Click here to view the film which is just over ten minutes in length.