Learn to speak Abenaki—but also learn the history, art, music, crafts, food, and dance—because culture is integral to language.

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Spend a summer at the Language Schools and you’ll experience the single most effective method for rapid language acquisition: a total immersion environment with the Language Pledge®—a promise to read, write, listen, and speak only in your language of study.

Abenaki Program Overview

The School of Abenaki launched in the summer of 2020. Our 2-week program is drawn from the Abenaki speaking community as well as beginner level students who are passionate about learning Abenaki language and culture.

Abenaki is an endangered Eastern Algonquian language and one of the three Wabanaki languages of New England and Quebec. It is spoken throughout a wide area ranging from Lake Champlain to the west and Maine to the east. Listen to an interview with Director Jesse Bruchac.

The School of Abenaki provides a path for language reclamation through immersion with Abenaki speakers built around co-learning, culturally based activities. We are committed to the revitalization of the Abenaki language, the support of the Abenaki-speaking community, and the vitality and understanding of Abenaki culture in Ndakinna, our homeland. 

Live in Language

Inside the Abenaki classrooms, the Language Pledge creates a solid foundation and helps students learn all day and every day, in a formal, structured setting.

Outside the classroom, students participate in organized cocurricular activities —including basket making, archery, woodworking, drum circles, song and dance, theater, and storytelling—designed to help enhance language skills while developing cultural proficiency. There are open lectures on Abenaki culture, and other social activities, including concerts and performances in the evenings. Students eat all meals with their Abenaki professors and fellow students, all in language.