Jeanne Brink

Time Period

1940 to Today

Subject Categories

Activist, Arts, Education

Notable Facts

Abenaki basketmaker; cultural awareness director of the Dawnland Center, coordinator of People of the Dawn (Abenaki Heritage Tour Group), coordinator of the Wabanaki Dancers.

Personal Information

Primary Residence

Barre

Ethnicity

Native American

Historical Significance

Jeanne Brink is an Abenaki artist and activist in Vermont. She is from the Obomsawin family of Thompson's Point, VT and Odanak Reserve, Quebec. Her relatives were accomplished basketmakers who practiced their craft until 1959. She was an apprentice basketmaker with the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Program and learned the traditional art of basketry. Her baskets, made of white ash and sweetgrass, have been shown throughout the Northeast.

Brink was the director of an exhibit titled, "The Spririt of the Abenaki" and the co-producer of a 2000-2001 exhibit that toured the U.S. called, "Shamanism, Magic, and Busy Spider".

After earning a Master's dgree in Native American Studies from Norwich University, Brink became the cultural awareness director of the Dawnland Center in Montpelier, VT. She has also served as coordinator of People of the Dawn (Abenaki Heritage Tour Group). She performs with and coordinates the Wabanaki Dancers. She also gives presentations throughout the Northeast on Western Abenaki culture.

Brink has raised awareness about historical accounts involving the Abenaki people in Vermont. Through the Vermont Folklife Center and a children's book entitled, "Malian's Song", Brink recounts the story of her ancestor, a girl named Malian, and the attacks on an Abenaki community near Montreal led by a British Major in 1759.

Jeanne Brink lives in Barre, VT with her husband. She is a mother of three and a grandmother. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Vermont Historical Society and UVM's Robert Hull Fleming Museum. From 1987-present she has been a Native American presenter and consultant to various schools and organizations throughout New England and New York.

Organizations or Movements

  • Dawnland
  • People of the Dawn
  • Wabanaki Dancers
  • Vermont Folklife Center

Occupations

  • Artist
  • Activist
  • Educator

Education

  • Masters, Norwich University

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • "Malian's Song" summary Link

  • Ne-Do-Ba Abenaki non-profit Link

  • People of the Dawn Link

  • Link to Jeanne Brink audio from VT Folklife Center Link

  • Fratini, Mary. Basketmaker Continues Abenaki Family Heritage. Vermont Woman Newspaper. October 2004. Link

  • Jeanne Brink Listing

  • Jeanne Brink listing

Additional Images

Jeanne Brink photo- VT Folklife Center
Jeanne Brink photo- VT Folklife Center
Baskets Made by Jeanne Brink. Courtesy of:
Baskets Made by Jeanne Brink. Courtesy of:
Brink making Abenaki basket
Brink making Abenaki basket