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390 A Summit Road
Exeter, RI, 02822
United States


Tomaquag Museum is dedicated to educating the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding Indigenous history, culture, arts, Mother Earth and to connect to native issues of today.


2:00 PM14:00

Indigenous Enslavement In The Atlantic World


Please join us for a talk and book signing with Associate Professor of History at Brown University, Linford Fisher. Dr. Fisher specializes in the cultural and religious history of colonian America and the Atlantic world, including Native Americans, religion, material culture, and Indian and African slavery and servitude. 
A book signing will follow the talk, books available for purchase. Visit the Tomaquag Website for more details.

Also, visit the museum from 10-2 to see Indigenous Empowerment Guest Artist Yolanda Smith! Yolanda specializes in traditional artforms incorporating indigenous materials like sweetgrass, birchbark and porcupine quills. She will perform a live demonstration, will be available to answer questions and will be showcasing her beautiful art for purchase. Get a start on your holiday shopping!

This special event is free with regular museum admission. $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for students (with ID) and seniors, $3.00 for children 18 and under. Children 5 and under are free. Visit our link to Eventbrite to reserve your seat at no charge and pay at the door when you arrive. Preference will be given to those who have reserved in advance.

Linford Fisher Bio:

Linford Fisher is an associate professor of history professor at Brown University who specializes in the cultural and religious history of colonial America and the Atlantic world, including Native Americans, religion, material culture, and Indian and African slavery and servitude. He is the author or co-author of two books, including The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (2012) and over a dozen articles and book chapters, and he is currently writing a book on the history of Native American and African enslavement in the English Atlantic world. 

Linford Fisher's Publications:  

Linford D. Fisher The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Indian Cultures in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 

Linford D. Fisher, J. Stanley Lemons, and Lucas Mason-Brown. Decoding Roger Williams: The Lost Essay of Rhode Island's Founding Father. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014.

Yolanda Smith Bio:

Yolanda Smith is an active Native artist of Rhode Island. She has been an active student and artisan of North Eastern Quillwork and Beadwork for the past 4-8 years, and is currently studying ceramics at CCRI. What led Yolanda to become involved in learning Native art forms was, as a child, watching her mother religiously create contemporary and traditional Native art, and, while learning at her side, observing how that body of work touched people’s lives throughout the Native community. 

It wasn't until her late 20s that Yolanda began learning in depth the techniques of beading and quill work appliqué. In expressing herself & exploring in the making of Traditional & Contemporary art forms, and with practice and time in mastering these techniques, a very unique style and voice developed through her body of work.

Over the past 6 years her work has been sold, demonstrated and exhibited at numerous Native cultural events throughout New England. In 2014, she was the featured artist of the Warwick Museum’s “Love Medicine” exhibit, and has been showcasing her work in RISCA’s annual Native and cultural exhibitions in the Atrium Gallery since 2013.

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to Aug 2

UPP Arts Training Opportunity for Educators

UPP Arts  Legacy Project has started! Thank you all for the years of shaping our work. Over the next two years we will be collecting  and organizing UPP's physical and digital archives to be permanently preserved in Providence Public Library's Rhode Island Collection as well as creating professional development workshops so you can continue this work in your classrooms.

Our first training is August 1st and 2nd!

Please consider attending our 2-half day professional development training workshop for teachers, educators and teaching artists to learn more about UPP Arts' unique approach to fostering environmental awareness through artmaking.

Presentations by classroom teachers and discussion will demonstrate how UPP's site-based learning methods can be used in schools and community centers. Teaching artists will help us all think in new ways across curriculum. A  $50 stipend for each day is available to participating educators and teaching artists. Space is limited

Day 1, August 1, from 9am - 1 pm

  • Learn about individual approaches to incorporating Mashapaug Pond into curricula. Presenters Include: Dave Evans, Science teacher at Alvarez High School; Jennifer Geller, Social Studies Teacher at Central High School; Brendan Haggerty, Chemistry teacher and Instructional Guide for Teachers at The Greene School.

  • Learn techniques to create an art project that incorporates history and  environmental concerns led by a veteran UPP Arts Teaching Artist Anna Snyder

  • Network and brainstorm with artists, community group representatives, and colleagues

Day 2, August 2, from 9 am - 1 pm

  • Begin planning for the upcoming school year and a collective student sharing event in May with fellow teachers internally and in conjunction with the other high schools.

  • Massage your creative muscle with exercises led by artists

  • Explore potential projects that involve youth, environmental stewardship and the arts with fellow community representatives and teaching artists.

  • A google folder will be set up to share curricula notes and ideas

Please contact UPP Arts to register if you plan to attend.

Visit for information about our projects and resources

UPP Arts
P.O. Box 27296                                             
Providence, RI 02907                                                                      T 401.862.4229

UPP Arts engages artists and communities in public art-making for the purpose of celebrating and building stewardship of our shared environment.

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5:30 PM17:30

Food Sovereignty Talk by Lorén Spears at The Aldrich House

The RI Historical Society hosts Loren Spears, executive director of the Tomaquag Museum, to speak about indigenous peoples and the issue of food sovereignty. Learn about the important and current issue of indigenous food sovereignty and how that has changed and evolved over time.

RSVP for this FREE program online here: or email or call (401) 331-8575 x360

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10:00 AM10:00

"Strawberry Thanksgiving" - at The Tomaquag Museum

Come make your own corn husk doll or friendship bracelets at our craft table (for a nominal fee) or at purchase Native American art, jewelry, weaving at the newly expanded museum Gift Shop or Native vendor stands.  Learn about a few traditional uses of indigenous plants at our education table with Cassius Spears, Jr.  Take a self-guided tour of the museum, and interact with our educators and learn from our archivist during the special archival presentation.  Try your hand at our ring and pin competition and you may even win a prize! Be sure to arrive early for our opening ceremony led by Narragansett Elder Dawn Dove at 10:30am and followed by the legend of Strawberry Thanksgivingby Paulla Jennings, nationally known storyteller, as we give thanks for the gift of the strawberry.  Bring a friend and join us for this fun family gathering! 

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3:00 PM15:00


Join us to celebrate RISCA's anniversary while supporting the arts and its impact nationwide.

Arts and culture funding support 12 positions at Tomaquag Museum as well as over 17 Native arts businesses, and about 15 other RI businesses just this year!   Protect arts and culture organizations like RISCA, NEA, NEH, IMLS and others.  Join us and show your support! 

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12:30 PM12:30

Perspectives on Standing Rock: Resistance and Sovereignty

Join us at Tomaquag Museum for a panel discussion featuring three distinct perspectives on the resistance at Standing Rock North Dakota. Jennifer Weston (Standing Rock Sioux), Christian Hopkins (Narragansett), and Michael Kickingbear Johnson (Mashantucket Pequot) will share their experiences at Oceti Sakowin and with the movement that united Indigenous people all over the world.

We will discuss the implications of Standing Rock for,

  • Treaty Rights
  • Environmental Sovereignty
  • Organizing Solidarities Across Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Communities

Don't miss out on this fantastic event! 

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5:30 PM17:30

10th (and final) Urban Pond Procession

Free & Open to the Public (all ages)

Discover Mashapaug Pond with UPP Arts’ 10th Annual (and final) Artist-Led Procession. This Year’s Focus is Stories of Mashapaug: Ecological, Historical, Indigenous and Industrial. Join the procession and celebrate Mashapaug with costumes, puppets, music, and art.

Where: Meet at Mashapaug Pond Boathouse (behind Ocean State Plaza, 361 Reservoir Avenue, Providence). The one-mile procession will stop at Reservoir Avenue School at 156 Reservoir Avenue, and then proceed to Mashapaug Cove behind Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School (375 Adelaide Avenue, Providence) for water ceremony and finale.

 UPP Arts will host its 10th annual Urban Pond Procession on May 13 in partnership with local artists, musicians, scientists, historians, schools and community members. The 2017 Procession begins with the sounds of the Eastern Medicine Singers (an Algonquin drum group) as participants gather near the Mashapaug Pond Boathouse (behind Ocean State Plaza). The procession will begin there, and marchers—all are welcome, no registration required—can select costumes, props and banners for the one-mile walk to Mashapaug Cove and Alvarez High School.

The Extraordinary Rendition Band, What Cheer Brigade and Big Nazo puppets will lead the way. There will be music by the Extraordinary Youth Ensemble during a stop at Reservoir Avenue School, then on to Mashapaug Cove and newly remediated Gorham fields around Mashapaug Cove behind Alvarez High School. At Mashapaug Cove, Tomaquag Museum and Gladstone Street School’s Kidventure will lead a water ceremony, followed by viewing site-specific interpretive signs created by Alvarez and Central High School students and large and small comic books about the old West Elmwood neighborhood. The finale will feature hip-hop performances from Sokeo Ros & Case Closed!, drumming and accordion from Mike Capeles and Phil Edmonds, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, food, and more. The evening will conclude with a multimedia “sound collage” by Erik Carlson and Erik Gould. Food will be provided. Park at Alvarez High School, bring a blanket or lawn chair for finale.

Every year, the procession attracts over 250 youth, families and other community members, and every year UPP Arts supports teaching artists working in schools near the pond. This year’s Teaching Artists include Narragansett Artist and Educator Wanda Hopkins at Reservoir Avenue Elementary, graphic designer and public artist Anna Snyder at Alvarez and Central High Schools, and Wanda Hopkins & comic book artist Walker Mettling with Cranston 21st Century Learning Community at Gladstone Elementary & Bain Middle School.

This is UPP Arts’ final procession; in June founder and director Holly Ewald will begin working with an archivist to collect and organize UPP’s physical and digital archives to be preserved, available to the public, and offered to Providence Public Library’s Rhode Island Collection.

 The annual Urban Pond Procession has been UPP Arts’ signature event, and in its last iteration as Stories of Mashapaug: Ecological, Historical, Indigenous and Industrial, it will draw together the themes that have inspired the previous nine processions. The goal of the procession, and of UPP Arts as an organization, has been to interweave art, science, and culture to celebrate and build stewardship of Mashapaug Pond and the Lower Pawtuxet River Watershed among residents, schools and elected officials. Over the last decade, UPP Arts has introduced thousands of students and citizens to Mashapaug Pond via school and community-based workshops and projects. It has encouraged people to learn about Mashapaug Pond and its history, and to take on the role of citizen-conservationists, artists and cultural historians.

Photo Opportunities: Drumming at Mashapaug boat house (5:30 pm); Extraordinary Youth Ensemble at Reservoir Avenue School (6:15 pm, 156 Reservoir Avenue); water ceremony at Mashapaug Cove (7:00 pm); hip-hop by Sokeo Ros/Case Closed!, Mayor Elorza, (7:30 pm, fields around Mashapaug Cove, behind Alvarez High School).

Contact:           Holly Ewald, Executive Director  (401) 862-4229

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10:00 AM10:00

Children's Hour at Tomaquag Museum Begins April 28!

Beginning Friday, April 28, 2017, Children’s Hour at Tomaquag Museum will reconvene. This one-hour public program runs every Friday from 10:00am and is targeted to children of all ages.  Children's Hour at Tomaquag features a different interactive lesson each week focused on Indigenous history and culture through music, dance, storytelling, crafts and Narragansett language. There is a fee of $3.00 per child for materials. Visit our Children's Hour Page for more information or to register your child.  Registration begins April 8, 2017. 

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10:00 AM10:00

"Children's Day" - at The Tomaquag Museum

Tomaquag Museum invites you to a fun family event on April 22, 2017 to celebrate the kick off of the museum’s weekly children’s hour.  On Saturday, April 22 from 10-2pm, families are welcome to come celebrate Earth Day here at the museum.  There will be storytelling, games, crafts and child-friendly museum tours.  We will finish with a nature walk, weather permitting, at 1pm so dress accordingly.  Children’s Day is free with regular museum admission.  Our Weekly Children’s Hour at Tomaquag Museum will begin April 28th. Visit our children's hour page for more information or to register your child.  Registration begins April 8, 2017.

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4:30 PM16:30


  • University of Rhode Island (Swan Hall 175G) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS



Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor of English  at Northeastern University and core founding faculty member in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.

Shereen Marisol Meraji, reporter on race for the NPR Code Switch Team.

Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum.

And Moderator:

Christina Bevilacqua, former Director of Public Engagement at the Providence Atheneaum.

When: Thursday, April 6th, 2017 4:30-6:00pm

Where: University of Rhode Island, Kingston Campus

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6:30 PM18:30

"Indigenous Foodways: Sovereignty, Appropriation and Continuation" a lecture with Loren Spears at The Providence Public Library

  • Providence Public Library (meeting room 3rd floor) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Complementing the On The Table Exhibit case featuring items on loan from the Tomaquag Museum, Lorén Spears, Executive Director, will share her thoughts on Indigenous Foodways.  With her lens as a Narragansett, Lorén will speak of traditional food gathering in comparison with post-European contact adaptations, featuring the historic "Dovecrest Restaurant" and the impact of food and foodways on culture.

Lorén M. Spears has been an educator for over 25 years in grades K – 8 and more recently as an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island where she also received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education.  Ms. Spears holds a Master’s in Education from the University of New England.  She shares her cultural knowledge and traditional arts learned through her family with the public through museum tours, classes, lectures, workshops, exhibits, art shows, educator conferences and other programs.  She has written curriculum, poetry, and narratives published in a variety of works such as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Indigenous Writing of New England; Through Our Eyes:  An Indigenous View of Mashapaug Pond, and The Pursuit of Happiness: An Indigenous View. 

Ms. Spears was recently appointed by Governor Raimondo to serve on the Board of the RI State Council on the Arts and serves on various other boards including The Pell Center’s Story in the Public Square.  Under her leadership, the Tomaquag Museum received the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal.  She was also awarded the Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities in October, 2017 by the RI Council of the Humanities.

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4:30 PM16:30

The Journey of the Johnny Cake: Talk & Demo by Lorén Spears at The Aldrich House

Loren Spears, executive director of the Tomaquag Museum, will give a talk and demonstration of the Rhode Island "Johnny Cake," originally called a "journey cake" by RI's indigenous tribes. Come hear about the indigenous origins of the "Johnny Cake," how it's evolved and witness a demonstration (and taste) of how it's made.

Please call (401) 331-8575 x360 or contact for more information.

Register for this free event here

Maximum 25 people, register early!


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