Committee on Indian Relations
Mr. John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Chair email
Press Release March 2, 2017: Dieffenbacher-Krall to lead Committee on Indian Relations
Learn more about the Maine Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconcilation Commission on its public Facebook page.
Diocesan Committee on Indian Relations members, with the rector, the Rev. Kevin Kinsey, and members of the Aroostook Cluster, at St. Paul's Church in Fort Fairfield. (above photo courtesy of Elizabeth Parsons)
At the meeting, the DVD "Invisible" was shown followed by much heartfelt and deeply concerned discussion around the topic of racism and also about creating interactions and involvement with Wabanaki (People of the Dawn) people, especially neighboring members of the Passamaquoddy tribe.
Contacts and informational sharing will continue with hopes of further involving and supporting these and other congregations in hopes of promoting connections and friendships in support of efforts being made to uncover and correct inequities to the Human Rights of First Nation people, both in the past and present here in the land we share and call Maine. We were honored to have MicMac Elder and Spiritual leader, Richard Silliboy attend and help us in our sharing information and in awareness of some issues pertinent to the subject.
Directions to Indian Island
Take I-95 and get off at Ext 197. Bear right out of the exit. That will put you on Route 43/Gilman Falls Avenue. You will cross Pushaw Stream, pass a concrete business on your left (Owen Folsom), and the Old Town Airport. In approximately 3 miles, you will see the bridge to Indian Island. Turn left on to the bridge. At the stop sign, turn right headed toward the Tribal Office buildings. You will pass the school on your right and the Fire dept/police on the left. You will see the Sockalexis Center on your right. Turn left.....we meet in the building directly across the road from the Sockalexis Center, the Nick Sapiel Bldg. The front dome shape room is where we meet.
Our Mission Statement
We are called by our Creator to deepen our relationship with the Wabanaki of Maine, to stand with the tribes in the pursuit of justice, to affirm their inherent sovereignty and to support the preservation of Native languages and culture.
Our new prayer composed by members of the committee:
we are all children of your creation
and of many different cultures,
but we do not see all people
or their culture as we see ourselves.
that all people should have
social justice and equality,
but we do not treat all people
as we want to be treated.
We pray that we may embrace
and understand all people,
especially our indigenous brothers and sisters,
who struggle to maintain their culture
and their inherent sovereignty.
Resolution of the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine
At the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine, delegates passed a resolution encouraging Maine Episcopalians “to get to know the Native American people of Maine; to learn about their histories, cultures, values, and yearnings, and join with them as we all share in the ministry of reaching out to all the people of Maine”. This led to the production of a documental film "INVISIBLE" which examines some of the history of the relations between the white and Indian communities in Maine. Through the voices of persons telling their stories, it looks at some of the underlying reasons for the racism so deeply embedded in white American culture and how that racism continues to shape Native American reality. From sales of the video and with the aid of a National Church grant, "INVISIBLE” has been converted to a DVD format. “INVISIBLE” received an extensive and positive review in “Indian Country Today”, the most widely nationally circulated Indian newspaper. The committee continues to explore dialogue and possible future projects with the tribes. With a new grant from the National Church this Committee is aiding the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission to convert a film made several years ago “Wabanaki: A New Dawn” into a DVD format that will be included in an educational packet for Maine Schools.
Articles are shared between Committee members on a regular basis. They will be posted here when requested.