Letter to The Bethel Citizen, by Arla Patch, July 19, 2012.
Robin Zinchuk, Executive Director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, is a sensitive, caring woman concerned with justice. I salute her. It would appear that she is the first organizer of our local Mollyockett Days to recognize that this celebration of the native woman Mollyockett, has actually never had, to my knowledge, the presence of native people in its 55-year history.
One of the many abuses of the indigenous people of Maine, the Wabanaki, has been to make them invisible, relegate them to the outer edges and discount their importance. There is a shocking and tragic history that all we non-native Mainers have inherited and the time has come for healing. That healing begins with knowing the truth.
Amazingly, Maine has just embarked on a Truth and Reconciliation process for the child welfare abuses that have caused such deep distress in all native communities in Maine and throughout the United States and Canada.
Canada began looking at this sad and shocking history in 2009. Perhaps Maine will lead the United States in bringing the truth to light. As many have said, “you can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge.”
To learn more, please visit www.mainewabanakitrc.org