For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools. Many children experienced devastating emotional and physical harm by adults who mistreated them and tried to erase their cultural identity.
Now, for the first time, they are being asked to share their stories.
In Maine, a historic investigation—the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States—begins a bold journey. For over two years, Native and non-Native commissioners travel across Maine. They gather testimony and bear witness to the devastating impact of the state’s child welfare practices on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribal communities. Collectively, these tribes make up the Wabanaki people.
Presented in collaboration with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and Critical Connections.
- Anthony Melting Tallow (Blackfoot Nation of Siksika, Alberta, Canada), visual artist, public speaker, and Indigenous social justice advocate
- Mishy Lesser, Ed.D., learning director for Upstander Project and Education Fellow at the Dodd Research Center at UConn