BTLT acknowledges that our work takes place on the traditional land of the Wabanaki people. We recognize that these lands were not given up freely but taken by Europeans through forced displacement. This displacement caused cultural and physical devastation to Indigenous people with repercussions that continue to this day. We honor and respect the Wabanaki people who have stewarded the lands and natural resources in our area for generations. We affirm our responsibility to build meaningful relationships with our Wabanaki neighbors in caring for these lands now and into the future. We understand that these words, and our acknowledgement of the state holiday of Indigenous People’s Day, do not rectify the lasting harms experienced by the Wabanaki people. We recognize that we, staff, board, and members, have much work to do to create a more inclusive conservation community.
To join us in this journey of growth, learning, and healing, we encourage you to engage with the following resources in some way:
- The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s new outdoor exhibit titled “Ckuwaponahkiyik Atkuhkakonol: Wabanaki Storytelling Through Art and Traditions.” This exhibit pays homage to the enduring traditions of the Wabanaki people, whose cultural legacy has thrived in the region now known as Maine for over 12,000 years.
- Various museums that focus on the history and culture of Wabanaki Tribes – be sure to call ahead or visit their website for open days and hours:
- From Friday, October 20th – Saturday, October 28th, the Meetinghouse Arts gallery (located at 40 Main St, Freeport) will host portraits from artist Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) series. Using the portraits and narratives of courageous citizens who have affected great change through civic engagement, AWTT inspires a profound understanding of citizenship and contribution to the common good. Highlighted by the exhibition are advocates for indigenous and civil human rights, students and young people participating in community engagement and change, and climate and environmental activists.
- Abbe Museum’s Sovereignty Guide for Allies – Tribal Sovereignty is the inherent right of Tribes to govern themselves – a right that has existed centuries before any contact with outsiders and is recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
- Any of the resources from the Bomazeen Land Trust, which works to enable the Abenaki/Wabanaki people to renew and resume their land caretaking and stewardship roles for lands and waters with historical, spiritual, and ecological significance to the Abenaki/Wabanaki people.
- Wabanaki REACH’s latest blog posts ‘Human Resources to Growth and Support: How REACH does HR’ by Andrea Francis – This two-part blog series shares their ‘journey towards a more values-aligned Human Resources department… [by] exploring new ways to take on traditional HR practices and disentangle them from the idea that humans need to be constantly productive.’
- Wabanaki Alliance’s 131st Legislature Bill Tracker – Maine legislators considered a number of bills during the first half of the 131st Legislature that involved issues related to the Wabanaki Nations. This Bill Tracker has details on many of those bills and actions you can take to stand with the Wabanaki. Scroll down to see all of the bills that passed, died or were carried over to the second half of the session. And check out their Legislative Toolkit to learn how to submit testimony, contact your legislators, write an LTE and more.
- The film Dawnland will be aired on Maine Public Television on November 2nd at 9:00pm and November 4th at 2:00pm. Dawnland is ‘the untold story of Indigenous child removal in the US through the nation’s first-ever government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission, which investigated the devastating impact on Maine’s child welfare practices on the Wabanaki people. The film explores the possibilities of truth and reconciliation.’
- Thursday, October 26 – DAWNLAND Film Screening & Panel Discussion in Freeport – click here to learn more and get tickets.