South Burlington school takes part in Abenaki flag raising ceremony

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 3:29 PM EST
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A South Burlington Public School honored Native American Appreciation Month Tuesday, becoming the first public school outside Franklin and Grand Isle Counties to take part in an Abenaki flag raising ceremony.

To the sounds of singing and drumming, students from the Abenaki Circle of Courage after-school program traveled from Swanton to South Burlington to raise the flag at the Gertrude Chamberlin School.

“Kind of a historic moment in that we’re the first school in Chittenden County to raise the Abenaki flag, the Missisquoi flag,” said

Chamberlin Principal Holly Rouelle. She says she wants her students to learn a variety of topics that include the Abenaki history. “It’s so important for our students to hear the stories, and especially thinking about who the original Vermonters are.”

Selah Cota, a member of the Abenaki Circle of Courage, says they are proud to educate others about their culture. “It just feels good to know that we are spreading our culture with other young kids,” Cota said.

“Being Indigenous, we’re always the people that have been pushed out. Just knowing that we’re not forgotten about, it just feels awesome,” said the group’s Sage Gould.

South Burlington students also appreciated the sharing opportunity. “I was excited to see what would happen,” said Caroline Kellogg-Masket, a student at the school. “I thought it was really cool, it was really beautiful to hear.”

“It was kind of a learning opportunity,” added Orion Hauserainville.

Principal Holly Rouelle says she hopes Tuesday’s event is the start of incorporating Abenaki culture within the curriculum.