TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION PRESENTATION
Arla Patch will describe her work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Saturday, March 23, 6 p.m. supper followed by her presentation at 6:45 at West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.
The Maine Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is the result of native and non-native social workers realizing that even with better compliance to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), they were still running into barriers with providing best practices for native children in Maine.
They began a TRC process in 2008 that has led to a Mandate signed by the State of Maine and all four tribal governments in June of 2012. This is unprecedented in the world. Every other TRC has been a government initiated process, not a grassroots one. And, Maine is the first state in the US to initiate a TRC for child welfare practices.
Patch serves on the Communications Subcommittee of the TRC. Her role has been largely to help non-indigenous Mainers (mostly white European-Americans) learn about the true history and understand what and why we need a TRC. The TRC in Maine is not looking for financial remunerations or legal retributions. It aims to do three things:
Create a common understanding of what has happened to Wabanaki people in the child welfare system,
Give Wabanaki people a place to share their experiences, to have a voice and to heal,
Come up with suggestions for improving practices for child welfare in Maine.
The church is sponsoring the potluck supper and educational program. Bring a dish to share (main dish, salad, or dessert). Beverages will be provided.