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Symposium to Assess Significance of Lake Champlain's Discovery

By Pat Bradley


Burlington, VT – Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont will hold a symposium beginning Thursday on the discovery of Lake Champlain 400 years ago and how that has impacted the region. WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

For four years, Champlain College officials and the organizers of the "When the French Were Here, Champlain Quadricentennial Symposium" have been working with regional educators on the significance of the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. The symposium begins Thursday, and runs through the weekend.. Champlain College Professor of History Willard Sterne Randall is co-chair of the Symposium.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has been mapping the lake's shipwrecks and studying the 10-thousand year history of it's waters. Director and underwater archaeologist Art Cohen, who was on the Symposium's Advisory Committee, says the symposium is more than a re-hash of what is already known.

The Lake Champlain Basin Program has been working since 1992 to clean up the lake. Cultural Heritage and Recreation Coordinator Jim Brangan says the more people learn about the lake - from ecology to its history - the better stewards they become.

The keynote speakers for the symposium are Eric Thierry from the University of Paris; Honorary Archivist of Canada Raymonde Litalien; and Pulitzer-prize winning Brandeis University historian David Hackett Fischer - who has just published "Champlain's Dream".


Champlain Quadricentennial Home Page