OLD TOWN and ELLSWORTH, Maine, Dec. 15, 2014 – A series of four Days of Reflection, Prayer and Meditation are being observed, Dec. 15-18, in honor of Statement Gathering in three locations: Machias, Mon., Dec. 15, and Tue., Dec. 16, and Portland, Thu., Dec 18, with child welfare and legal workers, parents and guardians; and with the Penobscot Indian Nation, Wed., Dec. 17. These Statement Gatherings are private and not open to the public.
During this time, Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ask individuals across Wabanaki and Maine communities to take a moment to pause in honor and solidarity with this historic process. Individuals are also asked to share thoughts, comments and wishes for participants on the TRC and REACH Facebook and Twitter pages.
With REACH’s support, the TRC will be in Machias and Portland to gather statements from individuals and professionals who have had any experience with Wabanaki children and families involved in the Maine child welfare system. These perspectives are needed to obtain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the truth.
Child welfare professionals, as well as adoptive, foster and kinship parents, are needed because of their important perspectives within the system on the needs of the children for whom they provided care. Also needed are Guardians ad Litem, members of the legal community and others involved in child welfare.
In between those visits, on Wednesday, the REACH joins TRC in a return to the Penobscot Indian Nation to gather statements about State child welfare experiences.
Those wishing to provide a statement to the TRC are encouraged to get in touch with TRC Research Coordinator Rachel George at 664-0280 or Rachel @ mainewabanakitrc.org.
Maine-Wabanaki REACH is a cross-cultural collaborative that promotes best child welfare practice through reconciliation, engagement, advocacy, change and healing activities for and between Wabanaki and Maine citizens, communities and governments.
The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) addresses truths of Wabanaki experiences with child welfare to promote healing and change. It’s the nation’s first TRC to address child welfare and Native people.