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Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission Welcoming Nominations for Commissioners

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Augusta, ME

The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Selection Panel, the group tasked by the Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to select five commissioners to serve on the TRC, invites the public to nominate people for the Selection Panel's consideration. The Selection Panel seeks individuals of recognized integrity, empathy, stature and respect with a demonstrated commitment to the values of truth, reconciliation, equity, and justice. Nominations must be received by October 1, 2012.

"The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be taking on the difficult task of examining the relationship between the Wabanaki People and the Child Welfare Program in Maine. They will develop a common understanding of this history, support healing of those affected, and work to create the best child welfare system possible," said Governor LePage. "This noble and tremendous responsibility will require dedicated individuals. I encourage the people of Maine to nominate those who they feel can help the TRC achieve its goals."

The TRC is an ongoing effort between the LePage administration and the Wabanaki Tribal Governments to reflect and improve upon the child welfare process in Maine. In May of 2011, Governor LePage joined with the Wabanaki Tribal Chiefs to sign a declaration of intent to create a Maine/Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation process. In June of 2012, Governor LePage joined again with the Tribal Chiefs to sign a mandate commencing the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Maine Wabanaki-State TRC is a first-in-the-world effort of Indigenous Peoples and a state to examine an issue in this way. The TRC commissioners will organize themselves to perform truth-seeking activities, including research and listening to testimony from members within the State and each Native community, and ultimately assembling a report of their findings that include recommendations for systems improvement.

The TRC anticipates that the commissioners will be seated by November 2012. At least four of the five commissioners must currently reside in Maine. Commissioners will be expected to dedicate approximately 2-3 days per month, over a span of 27-33 months. Commissioners will have an administrative and support staff to aid them in their efforts. They will also receive a reimbursement for mileage and lodging expenses as well.

People can nominate other individuals or themselves. To nominate an individual, people should use the commissioner Nomination Form created by the TRC Selection Panel. Nominations may also be submitted by going to the TRC website, www.mainetribaltrc.org. Any questions about the TRC nominations process or the TRC in general can be directed to Interim Director Carolyn Morrison at (207) 896-3042 or carolyn.morrisontrc@gmail.com.


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