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History center to welcome guest speaker July 7

CHAMPLAIN - Celine R. Paquette has wanted to see more people use the Samuel de Champlain History Center. And, she's getting her wish.

The history center was established on Elm Street in 2009, housing more than 300 books and a host of items directly-related to the history of the region and the village's namesake, French explorer Samuel de Champlain. However, it wasn't until this past May when the center was first used for a public presentation, then by Don Papson, founding president of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association. Papson gave a discussion titled "Noadiah Moore: Freedom's Herald," which focused on the life of local abolitionist Noadiah Moore.

"It went very well," Paquette said of Papson's presentation. "We had close to 50 people. There were a lot of people interested because Noadiah Moore was a Champlainer."

Paquette hopes that enthusiasm will continue as the center welcomes its second special guest Thursday, July 7. Mohawk artist and storyteller David Fadden will be the featured speaker next Thursday as part of a free series on Native American writers presented by the Adirondack Center for Writing at Paul Smith's College.

"I don't know Dave Fadden ... it's something where Paul Smith's contacted us to use the venue," said Paquette. "I'm glad the building is being used, though. I'd like to see more of it."

"I hope we have a good turnout," she added.

Fadden, a North Country native, is a widely-published illustrator and professional artist credited for having "strong roots in the oral history of his Mohawk heritage." Fadden's father, John, and mother, Eva, worked as teachers and artists, and his grandfather, the late Ray Fadden, founded the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota.

Most recently, Fadden illustrated "When the Shadbush Blooms," a children's book written by Carla Messinger and Susan Katz, and contributed images for the Discovery Channel program "How The West Was Lost: Always The Enemy."

During his July 7 presentation, Fadden will discuss the role of art and storytelling in Mohawk Haudenosaunee culture. The presentation - funded by the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership through the Lake Champlain Basin Program and a Quadricentennial Legacy Grant - will begin at 7 p.m. and be recorded to preserve Native American storytelling in the Champlain Basin.

The Samuel de Champlain History Center is located at 202 Elm St.

For more information about Fadden's discussion, contact the Adirondack Center for Writing at 327-6278. The Samuel de Champlain History Center can be reached at 298-1609.

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