With the mission to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit, the Abbe Museum is a decolonizing museum, offering changing exhibitions and a robust programming schedule for all ages, welcoming 30,000 visitors each year on Mount Desert Island, Maine, home of Acadia National Park. Wabanaki people are engaged in all aspects of the museum, from curatorial roles to policymaking.
The Abbe is an active member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and an involved community anchor. Annually, we hire over 30 Native artists and demonstrators to lead programs for schools and public audiences, serve on advisory committees, and as content specialists. We represent over 80 Native artists in our shops, making us an economic engine for tribal communities. In 2013, the Abbe became the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine.
The Abbe Museum has the organizational mandate to develop decolonizing museum practices, the first of its kind in non-tribal museums. Through collaborative practice, privileging of Indigenous voice and perspective, and a commitment to telling the full truths of history, the Abbe Museum is breaking ground in 21st-century museum practice. More importantly, we are actively promoting inclusion and power-sharing both within our own organization and in service to Wabanaki communities. It is our hope and intention that this significant work ultimately leads to healing and reconciliation for Native people and museum spaces.