(From left) Martha Proulx from Maine DHHS, Denise Altvater, Director of the Wabanaki Program, Jennifer Rooks, Maine Watch, Esther Attean, Maine TRC and Muskie School of Public Service, and Amy Greulich, Intern with Maine TRC pose after filming of the Maine Watch Program about the Maine TRC.
Please join the community of Maine and Wabanaki people in a day of reflection, meditation, and prayer today. Tomorrow, with the seating of the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), they will embark on a historic undertaking to uncover the truth, promote healing, and make recommendations for the best child welfare practices, while finding peaceful ways to move forward together.
Denise Altvater (far right)and siblings weeks before they were taken from the reservation and placed in a non-native foster home by the state of Maine.
“It is the first truth and reconciliation (process) in this country that is dealing with the child welfare system in the United States. It’s also the first truth and reconciliation between a government of the United States and a sovereign tribal nation. And as far as we know, because we’ve done work with the Transitional Justice Center in New York City, it is also the first that‘s been developed collaboratively between two opposing parties.” ~Denise Altvater
The following are excerpts from a recent conversation with Denise Altvater, AFSC’s Wabanaki Program Coordinator in Maine. Keith Harvey, AFSC’s regional director in New England, hosted the telephone conversation, and several friends and supporters joined the call.
Keith: Denise, would you introduce yourself and your work?
Please join Denise Altvater, Coordinator of AFSC's Wabanaki Program, for the inside story of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Process now underway in Maine. Learn about this extraordinary journey toward healing and forgiveness, and bring your questions for Denise!
Our host will be Keith Harvey, AFSC Regional Director in New England, who has launched a three part series of community conversations on the theme, The Haves, the Have-Nots and the Beloved Community.
KEITH ‘BEAR’ HARVEY was a scholarship football player on the Miami University of Ohio football team when its team name was the “Redskins.” His acceptance of that nickname changed following a conversation with a Native American classmate. Harvey’s commentary below explains why he joined the effort to change the team’s nickname.
AFSC's Keith Harvey discusses "redskins," his childhood and "building the beloved community."
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.