OLD TOWN, Maine, May 5, 2015 – The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) invites the public to hear its recommendations during a forum in Machias on Wed., May 13, 11:30 a.m.
“The Mandate and Beyond: Recommendations of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC” will take place at the University of Maine at Machias in the Science Building, Room 102. Soup and sandwiches will be served.
TRC Commissioners gkisedtanamoogk, Sandy White Hawk and Carol Wishcamper will talk about the TRC process, review lessons learned from their research findings and offer their recommendations. This is the third in a series of five public forums being held across the state. Meetings are also taking place with tribal communities and other stakeholders.
The events lead up to the release of the TRC’s report during the “Closing Ceremony of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC: Moving Forward with Truth, Healing and Change,” on Sun., June 14, in Hermon.
The TRC will be joined in Machias by Esther Attean and Penthea Burns, co-directors of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, a cross-cultural collaborative that both created the TRC and will be ensuring that the Commission’s recommendations are considered and implemented. Attean and Burns will discuss the findings and identify ways people can get involved in continuing the work of truth, healing and change.
Attendees will be invited to make comments and ask questions.
“The TRC has drawn the attention of people from across Maine. Those of us who have worked in the child welfare system want to provide the best for the children and families we serve. Non-Native Mainers from all walks of life want to be part of the change in our relationship with Wabanaki people. We are coming forward to learn more about truth and reconciliation,” said REACH Community Organizer Barbara Kates.
TRC Executive Director Charlotte Bacon said “Commissioners gkisedtanamoogk, Sandy White Hawk and Carol Wishcamper are looking forward to bringing our preliminary findings and recommendations to Machias, and engaging with Washington County citizens about improving Native child welfare in the State of Maine.”
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.