ELLSWORTH and OLD TOWN, Maine, Nov. 3, 2014 – Days of Reflection, Prayer and Meditation are being observed, Nov. 3-5, in honor of Statement Gathering in three locations: in Bangor, Nov. 3, with child welfare and legal workers, parents and guardians; at the Penobscot Indian Nation, Nov. 4; and at the Bangor-based Wabanaki Health and Wellness, Nov. 5. These Statement Gatherings are private and not open to the public.
During this time, the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) joins Maine-Wabanaki REACH in asking 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 the support of REACH, the TRC will be in Bangor 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.
Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, the TRC joins REACH in a return to the Penobscot Indian Nation and to Wabanaki Health and Wellness to gather statements about State child welfare experiences.
The next planned observance of Days of Reflection, Prayer and Meditation is Nov. 18-19 to coincide with Statement Gathering in Portland with child welfare and legal workers, parents and guardians. These Statement Gatherings precede the “Genocide and ME event” in Portland, Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m.
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.
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.