Acadia Senior College


The Abbe Museum's Future, Leading from the East

January 22, 2021

12:00 Noon

Free virtual presentation via Zoom


There's an old saying, "As Maine goes, so goes the nation."  In fact, the motto of 200 years of Maine statehood is "Dirigo" or "I lead."  But where does this desire to lead the nation come from?  Chris will discuss the history of Maine's Wabanaki peoples cultural and historical ties to turtle island (the land we now call North America) from Wabanaki homelands in the land of the dawn.  It's from this historical and cultural perspective that Chris envisions the future of the Abbe and its role in leading museums across the nation in decolonizing museum work, building equitable relationships with living Native communities, and changing the museum experience to grow beyond its colonial beginnings to a world-class first-person interpretive learning experience centered around Wabanaki voices.  Join us for Chris's thoughts on the short- and long-term future of the Abbe and what you can expect to see in the future.

There is no charge for this event.

Chris Newell is Executive Director and Sr. Partner to Wabanaki Nations for the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.  He is a multi-award-winning museum professional born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the New England Museum Association and current member of the Maine Arts Commission.  Chris is a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative, an educational consultancy working with schools, universities, museums, and all areas of education to incorporate Native perspectives in a culturally competent manner.  

The Abbe Museum's Future, Leading from the East