What is the Maine Tribal-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
A truth and reconciliation commission is an independent panel of inquiry typically set up to establish the facts and context of serious violations of human rights or of international humanitarian law in a country’s past.
The Maine Tribal-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission is formed to discover the truth by research and testimony about the experiences of Wabanaki people with Maine state child welfare and to promote healing and lasting change for Wabanaki children and families. Truth and reconciliation is an ongoing process and will require commitment from all those affected: Wabanaki people, including those who were formerly clients of Maine child welfare, their respective governments and their families and communities; religious entities; former state child welfare employees; state government; and the people of Maine.
There has been positive collaboration between the state of Maine and Wabanaki tribes to bring about lasting positive change. Since 1999, this effort has resulted in ICWA trainings for state workers, an Indian Child Welfare policy and a better working relationship.
In spite of this progress, Maine’s child welfare history continues to impact Wabanaki children and families today. We have come to realize that we must unearth the story of Wabanaki people’s experiences in order to fully uphold the spirit, letter and intent of the ICWA in a way that is consistent and sustainable.
Please click HERE to read more at the Maine Tribal-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission website.