Arts Are Elementary is bringing former Penobscot Nation Chief Barry Dana to speak with Brunswick’s 5th grade students and at a Public Forum. Contributed

Arts Are Elementary is bringing Former Chief of the Penobscot Nation, culture preservationist, educator and teacher, and professional basketmaker Barry Dana to Brunswick in May.

Dana will provide a free open public forum in the Morrell Room at the Curtis Memorial Library Monday, May 16, 7-8:30 p.m. In addition, Dana will be visiting with Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School 5th grade students in May.

Dana will lead each 5th grade class in a discussion about Wabanki art and culture linking the conversation to the students’ Colonization curriculum. He’ll join the students outside in a tent and will bring his portable wigwam.

“Providing all of our 5th-grade students the opportunity to learn firsthand from Former Chief Dana about Wabanaki culture and art is essential to them understanding the impact of colonization on his native culture,” Brunswick Superintendent Phillip J. Potenziano stated. “Learning directly from Chief Dana will have a deep and lasting impact on these students. I am grateful to Arts are Elementary for organizing it.”

“Arts Are Elementary’s Board and I are thrilled that Brunswick’s 5th grade students will be meeting with Chief Dana this spring,” Arts Are Elementary Executive Director Jenn Burns Gray said. “We hope these discussions will help provide the students with an authentic perspective on colonization and help them learn more about Maine’s Wabanaki art and culture. Our generous funders have enabled us to open up the opportunity to engage with Chief Dana and learn about the Wabanaki to the broader public. We hope the community participates in this opportunity.”

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