Charlotte first trained with the TRC as a statement gatherer, joining the team in Sipayik in November 2013 and in Motahkomikuk in February 2014. She is honored to be serving as the executive director for the Commission with the goal of helping as many people as possible learn about and understand the TRC’s truth-sharing mandate and the experiences of the Wabanaki people. She coordinates events and media with TRC colleagues at REACH, and manages the TRC’s day-to-day activities.
Her background is in writing and teaching: she has published five works of fiction, has written for The New York Times and was a tenured professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. But it is her commitment to telling and listening to stories, and working with students of all ages that drew her to work with the TRC. She believes that telling one’s truth can lead to deep healing, for individuals and for communities.
A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University, she has had the good fortune to live and work in villages in India, Indonesia and Bhutan.
Erika first connected with the effort to create the TRC in 2011 through a collaboratively developed research project for her Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern Maine. The findings from that project have been published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare.
Erika has experience working in Native communities in northern Minnesota and southeast Alaska, and has a varied background as a community organizer, sled dog handler and farm worker.
Most recently, she worked as a clinical social worker, with a focus on understanding the impact of trauma on mental health and well-being.
She is honored to be part of the transformational healing and change-making work of the TRC, and to lend her research skills to contribute to a greater understanding of the shared and unique stories of child welfare in Wabanaki communities in Maine.
erika @ mainewabanakitrc.org
Rachel is a young indigenous scholar from Vancouver, British Columbia. As a member of the Ahousaht First Nation, she has grown into an advocate for indigenous rights. She has a genuine and enthusiastic commitment to strengthening the voices of indigenous peoples, and seeking methods of redress that are complementary to indigenous needs and rights.
Rachel completed her master of arts in genocide studies at the University of Amsterdam in July 2013. Her studies were primarily focused on transitional justice and, more specifically, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its efforts at reconciliation for indigenous peoples. Within this work, she examined the strength and feasibility of Canada’s latest endeavor in reconciliation and drew attention to where the Canadian TRC has been benefiting indigenous peoples, and where it has become a manifestation of affirmative repair.
She is a determined and dedicated individual with a passion for improving the lives of indigenous peoples and contributing to work that will give a voice to indigenous communities; facilitate healing; and strengthen relationships within these communities.