Denise Altvater serves as Coordinator as the Wabanaki Youth Program in Maine. She has created a supportive web of connection and communication in a region where Native Communities have been isolated and often powerless for decades. Under her 16 years of leadership, the American Friends Service Committee's Wabanaki Program (Maine) has grown to become a vital hub of activity for the rights of all indigenous people as she works across vast geographic distances.
Denise recently signed an agreement with the state of Maine to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to uncover the truth about Wabanaki families affected by the placing of Wabanaki children taken from their families to be placed in non-native foster care homes. Under her leadership, a Maine Tribal-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been approved by all five Tribal Governments, the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission and supported by Governor Baldacci. She has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Portland (ME) Press and WABI-TV Ch. 5. For more visit www.mainetribaltrc.org
In 1947, AFSC was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for our work “…from the nameless to the nameless….” on behalf of all Quakers.