Jesse Bowman Bruchac is a Nulhegan Abenaki Citizen, language keeper, storyteller, and musician.

Above: Jesse, linguist Conor Quinn, Abenaki, Penobscot, Maleseet, Passamaquoddy, and Mi’kmaq speakers at a Wabanaki language gathering on Indian Island Maine.

In ongoing efforts to make the language more accessible, he created the free language teaching website WesternAbenaki.com, a YouTube Channel, and Facebook Group. He has also written several bilingual books in the language. He has lectured at Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton. He teaches the Abenaki language at the Ndakinna Education Center, the University of Southern Maine, and is the director of the School of Abenaki at Middlebury College.

Jesse has also acted as consultant, translator, composer, and language coach for programs on AMC, National Geographic, and PBS.

On the set in South Africa between takes with actor Tatanka Means.

As a musician he has also worked in film and recorded several collections of traditional songs using drum, rattle, and flute. He has opened for such notable acts as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and at Woodstock ’94. In 1996 he toured Europe as a member of the Abenaki Drum from the Odanak reservation in Quebec. He is a member of the  Abenaki Artist Association, and sits on the advisory committee of Nibezun and The Nolumbeka Project

Jesse Bruchac performing at the Ganondagan Historic Site with his father Joseph Bruchac.

In 1995 he won the Best Storyteller Competition at Indian Summer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jesse began learning stories, songs and language as a child from his father, as well as elders his family would often visit in Vermont, Maine, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, and Canada. He began studying the language in earnest from Cecile Wawanolet in 1992. He has continued to study and teach the language for the last three decades.

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