MORE AUTHENTIC MOLLYOCKETT DAYS
The Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce was sorry to learn that Sara Wright experienced so much difficulty and frustration in her efforts to be involved with MollyOckett Day in the past. The year she contacted us, 2006, the Chamber was not actually hosting MollyOckett Days. Our first year hosting the event was 2011.
Our goal in creating a more authentic MollyOckett Days Festival at this point is to work with Wabanaki tribal members, to connect with the most genuine cultural ties, traditions and history of the state of Maine native peoples. Since MollyOckett was a Wabanaki Confederacy tribal member, it is worth it to our committee to compensate tribal citizens who are artists, musicians, dancers and herbalists.
We would like to emphasize to all who have enjoyed attending MollyOckett Day over the last 50-plus years that it is our plan to keep the cherished aspects of the festival as the homecoming and celebration that it has been, as well as expand it in this meaningful way. One change the committee thought would be a positive one is to replace the Miss Mollyockett contest with an essay contest. We are encouraging all local students who are willing to do research on MollyOckett and write an essay on her life, her work, the impact that she made on the people of our region, and how her legacy is meaningful to the Wabanaki people and us today. We will be having the submitted essays judged and will be providing two $350 awards to those deemed best written and most historically accurate.
We feel we owe it to the Wabanaki people in Maine to make it possible for them to present the most clearly true picture of their culture at our festival. This is the way we can best honor their past, their present, and Molly Ockett herself – and at the same time, we can continue to enjoy this wonderful summer festival!
MollyOckett Days Festival Task Force Committee