Wíwənikan… the beauty we carry: a week of fashion, film, demonstrations, and talks

The following events are part of a Museum initiative, Wíwənikan…the beauty we carry: a week of film, programs, demonstrations, and talks, which takes place from October 5–11 at the Museum and various locations on campus and in the community. These events are adjunct to the Museum’s ongoing exhibition, Wíwənikan…the beauty we carry, featuring contemporary works by the First Nations people of what is now Maine and Maritime Canada.

Indigenous Rights and Water Lecture

Wednesday, October 2, 7 p.m., Ostrove Auditorium

Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, will speak about the months she spent fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Maine Craft Weekend

Saturday, October 5 and Sunday October 6

In collaboration with the Maine Craft Weekend, the Colby College Museum of Art will provide additional tours and activities featuring contemporary art by First Nations basketmakers, canoe makers, carvers, painters, and beadworkers. For more information on all of the statewide events, visit

  • Saturday, 10-noon: Art + Cart activities will be available in the Wíwənikan exhibition.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 p.m.: Public guided tours led by Theresa Secord; a Penobscot artist in, and curatorial advisor to, Wíwənikan.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 2-3 p.m.: Spotlight public drop-in tours led by a Colby Museum of Art docent.

First Light: Couture by Decontie & Brown

Saturday, October 5, 8:01 p.m., Boulos Gallery

Donna Decontie-Brown (Penobscot/Algonquin) and Jason Brown (Penobscot) have reached deep into Wabanaki legend for this display of creativity and couture. Due to limited seating, tickets are required and can be picked up at the at the Colby College Museum of Art welcome desk.

Indigenous Resistance, Planetary Dystopia, and the Politics of Environmental Justice 

Monday, October 7, 4 p.m., Diamond Building 122 

Jaskiran Dhillon of the New School will examine the critical interplay among settler colonialism, indigenous resurgence, and the politics of climate justice.

Campus + Community Film Series: Dawnland

Monday, October 7, 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema

This Emmy-winning documentary uncovers the untold story of Indigenous child removal through the nation’s first-ever government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission, which investigated the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on the Wabanaki people. Unrated, 86 min. 

Music by Hawk Henries 

Tuesday, October 8, 1 p.m.

A member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck, Hawk Henries has been composing original flute music and making flutes using only hand tools and fire for over 25 years. 

Wabanaki Perspectives on Climate Change

Tuesday, October 8, 7 p.m., Given Auditorium

This panel discussion will focus on how climate change affects indigenous artists and communities in Maine. Panelists include Barry Dana, Suzanne Greenlaw, Prof. Darren Ranco, and Richard Silliboy. 

Noontime Art Demonstration: Flint-Knapping

Wednesday, October 9, noon

Chris Sockalexis, artist and Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Nation, will demonstrate and share knowledge of the ancient art of stone and bone tool production.

You’re Speaking My Language: Spanish

Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m.

Use art as a catalyst to build relationships among language learners and native speakers of the indigenous languages of the Spanish and Latinx communities. 

Guided Canoe Trip with Barry Dana

Friday, October 11, noon-4 p.m.

This program delves into themes of waterways, the environment, and the impact of climate change on indigenous culture, with conversation in the Museum galleries and on the Messalonskee River. The 2 ½-hour canoe trip will be guided by Barry Dana, Wíwənikan artist and former chief of the Penobscot Nation. Ages 7+ with an adult. Pre-registration is required.

Self-Guided Tours

Saturday, October 12, and Sunday, October 13

Pick up our newly created Art-to-Go Book Bag, which includes children’s storybooks written by Wabanaki authors. Then visit the Art + Cart stationed in the Wíwənikan exhibition to learn more about works by Wabanaki artists. 

Masterpiece Art – Wíwənikan: the beauty we carry

Monday, October 14, 24:30 p.m.

In this acrylic painting class by Waterville Creates!, students will reference the artwork, Welcome Home by James Eric Francis, Sr. currently on view in the exhibition Wíwənikan… The Beauty We Carry.

Maine Indigenous People’s Day 

Monday, October 14

Celebrate  Maine Indigenous People’s Day by purchasing art by indigenous people, donating to organizations whose work benefits indigenous people, and learning more about the history and culture of the people who first inhabited this land.