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REACH Board of Directors

Tyler-Ann Harris is a Penobscot tribal citizen. She graduated from the University of Maine School of Social Work with a Bachelor's degree after completing an internship with Maine State Senator Geoffrey Gratwick of District 9. She is currently studying for a Master's Degree at the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs with a concentration in International Security and Foreign Policy. Tyler-Ann was re-elected to the Penobscot Nation Census Committee, carrying on a family tradition as the fourth generation to serve on this particular committee. Tyler-Ann serves as Co-Chair for the REACH Board of Directors and on REACH’s Collective Growth and Support (Human Resources) Committee. 

Esther Anne, Passamaquoddy from Sipayik, joined the Muskie School of Public Service in 2003 where she works on projects that engage and benefit tribal communities including facilitating the Maine tribal state Indian Child Welfare Act workgroup and creating child welfare resources with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. She had a primary role in the creation and establishment of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Wabanaki REACH. Esther serves as Board Co-Chair and for the communications, Fundraising and, Development Committee.  

Penthea Burns, has served on the REACH Board of Directors since 2018. She is currently the Treasurer/Secretary and serves on various committees. Penthea is a volunteer facilitator in REACH community education programs. She is a co-founder of Wabanaki REACH, the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She worked at the University of Southern Maine (1999-2024) delivering direct service, advocacy, training and technical assistance, and policy guidance. She established the Youth Leadership Advisory Team (youth leaders in foster care), Camp To Belong Maine (a summer camp program that reunites siblings separated by foster care and adoption), and the Family Engagement Advisory Team (parents with lived experience in child welfare helping to strengthen child welfare services). Penthea enjoys spending time with her adult son who lives in NJ, living with her Chinook dogs, maple sugaring season each year, and writing poetry to make sense of her experiences.

Nolan Altvater is a Passamaquoddy from Sipayik and is currently completing an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Maine in Orono. Nolan works for the Wabanaki Youth in Science Program helping the Maliseet Nation create and implement school curriculum; designing virtual earth camps; and creating a virtual field trip for the Penobscot Nation Water Quality Dept. He also serves as a McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellow at the University where he is currently leading a Community Based Participatory research project that centers Wabanaki voices, writing, and stories in order to help create a better implementation of the Wabanaki Studies Law (LD 291).
Nolan is an advocate, avid reader, writer, photographer, and has experience in graphic design. He has worked with Wabanaki and Maine organizations and non-profits, lending his expertise and perspective to Sunlight Media Collective, Racial Equity and Justice, the Young People’s Caucus of Maine, and the Maine’s Children’s’ Cabinet.

Barbara Kates worked as a Maine Community Organizer for Wabanaki REACH from 2014 to 2020, and joined the Board in 2021 as co-chair of the programming committee.  For decades, Barbara developed and managed programs in child welfare and adult literacy. Over the past ten years, Barbara worked as a consultant to non-profit organizations helping them to strengthen their programs. She is now retired. Barbara is honored to have the opportunity to continue to support REACH's work.

Steven Holmes is a Passamaquoddy tribal citizen from Sipayik who lives in Glenburn, he was born in CT and raised primarily by his grandparents Mike and Susan Holmes, who brought him back to Wabanakik after college.

He spent almost a decade living out of state before returning home to settle down and start a family. His children, now adults, both live nearby while he has his fur baby Bailey to keep him company.
Steven has extensive experience in sales and a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. He worked for Penobscot Nation Enterprises as an executive with a subsidiary for approximately 7 years and has been employed with Spectrum Cable for the last 7 years where he is currently working to bring broadband access to tribal communities.
Steven has been volunteering with Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness since they opened their doors in 1996 as Wabanaki Mental Health Association, always ready to help out with whatever is needed from driving to cooking to moving furniture. He has also worked with Four Directions Development Corporation, the Penobscot Nation Apprenticeship program, the WaYS program, and served as the Passamaquoddy at Sipayik representative to the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission for a year.
Steven’s philosophy is that life is all about learning, appreciating how fortunate he has been by giving back to Wabanaki people. He considers food sovereignty and language revitalization as essential to independence as tribal nations.