Holding up the Sky explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.
Wabanaki advisors guided the exhibition, interpreting 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, heritage items, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion. Wabanaki voices provide context for the present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region.
In addition to items from Maine Historical Society collections and newly-commissioned pieces from Wabanaki artists, the exhibition will feature artifacts generously loaned by many individuals and organizations, including: Abbe Museum, Hudson Museum, Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Maine State Museum, Nova Scotia Museum, and Bangor Historical Society.
Holding Up the Sky was developed in collaboration with a team of advisors, including Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), James Francis (Penobscot), Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Theresa Secord (Penobscot), Ashley Smith (Wabanaki descent), and Donald Soctomah (Passamaquoddy).