As part of the College's long-standing efforts to reach beyond its borders, events sponsored by the Wabanaki collaborative will headline on campus today and tomorrow.

Wabanaki—or "Dawn Land" as it is referred to by many Algonquian-speaking peoples—is a region that describes the Eastern region of the North American continent, including New England in the United States as well as Quebec and the Maritimes in Canada.

In Maine, Wabanaki consists of four Native American tribes: the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet.

In an agreement called the Wabanaki-Bates-Bowdoin-Colby Collaborative, made a few years ago between the Presidents of the three colleges and the Tribal Chiefs, the three colleges have worked over the last few years to encourage Wabanaki students to go to college and to make their campuses more welcoming to Native American students.

Today, there will be two discussions about restoring the Maine ecosystems in these areas. A discussion entitled "The Case of the Penobscot River" will take place at 1 p.m. while "Restoring Ecosystems in Maine" will begin at 2:45 p.m. Three speakers, including experts in the areas, will be leading the discussions in Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall, and will talk about the cultural and scientific considerations related to maintaining sustainable ecosystems in Maine.

Tomorrow also marks the fourth annual Wabanaki Arts Festival, which will feature performances all day ranging from drumming, flute music and storytelling. There will also be demonstrations of traditional native arts such as woodcarving, and a variety of artisans selling jewelry, baskets and more.

Most of the artists at the festival will be from Wabanaki tribes, although there will also be representatives of the Nipmuck tribe of Massachusetts and the Dine (formerly Navajo) tribe of Arizona.

Bowdoin started the Wabanaki Arts Festival to foster relationships between Bowdoin and local tribal communities, allowing students an opportunity to connect with the history and traditions of Maine, while encouraging Wabanaki students to consider Bowdoin as they think about college.

Leslie Shaw, Bowdoin's Liaison for Native American Affairs, explains that the arts festival is "one way to make connections that is fun and educational at the same time."

This year, the festival was organized by Liaison for Native American Affairs Leslie Shaw, Security Officer Jody Tyler and the Native American Student Association (NASA).

Shaw said that members of the Bowdoin community should stop by the festival on Saturday to take advantage of the "opportunity for Bowdoin students, staff and faculty to get to know about Wabanaki culture and to meet some of these great artisans."

The arts festival will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Morrell Lounge in Smith Union.