Dear Friends of Maine-Wabanaki REACH,
We've been thinking about where we've come from and a lot about what's next. We wanted to share our thinking with you and let you know how you can help.
Thanks to everyone who has already contributed to our end of year fundraising request! If you have yet to make a contribution, we ask you to take a moment right now to visit our website and make your contribution.
Here are five reasons to thank you for an amazing 2017!
- 1,467 non-Native and Wabanaki people participated in 46 learning experiences (presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive activities) on the shared history of Native and non-Native people in Maine.
- 104 people from Wabanaki communities participated in 3 regional Restorative Justice events.
- 93 Native inmates have participated in 66 healing circles in 6 prisons.
- 100 Wabanaki people participated in our annual wellness gathering, while 95 non-Native people participated in an annual convening focused on decolonization.
- 63 non-Native and Wabanaki people participated in 3 Decolonizing Faith workshops.
In gratitude, we share thoughts from some of the 1,800 people that REACH has interacted with this year:
“I learned accurate history about my people. The facts ripped my heart out. I am an activist now. This experience totally gave me direction. I educate fellow Natives every chance I get. My children can tell you about so many different things. My education is rubbing off on them.”
~ Caroline, Passamaquoddy tribal member
“I am aware of the history but seeing it and feeling it was rather upsetting. Through the interactive activity, I saw and felt history. It made me see that people outside of my race are interested in hearing these stories. It makes me think that not everyone thinks that we, as Native Americans, ‘need to get over it.’”
~ Kylie Neptune, Passamaquoddy tribal member
“As a pre-k to 8th grade science, math and reading teacher in a border town, this knowledge is important to me personally and something I need to be able to communicate to my Native and non-Native students. I still feel the power of what I experienced. I have found ways to celebrate Native history and culture through the natural sciences.”
~Anne Maghie, non-Native
“I appreciate that Native people are bringing ‘home’ to me.” “This is a piece of life that I was missing.” “I am learning about my ancestors. I hope to learn the language, keep myself smudged and clean with sweet-grass.” “I missed out on my teens and adulthood and I’m finally catching up.” “What we say matters. We matter.” “I am learning how to be together with other Natives; how to embrace being Native.” “The circles have given me something positive to look forward to.”
~ from incarcerated participants of Wabanaki Healing Circles
“I believe we can change as a people and a culture. As the number of people attending REACH workshops grows so does the awareness of the land we walk on and the people of this land. It is changing an uncountable number of daily conversations in small and significant ways. REACH is giving my community a way forward.”
~ Simon Beckford, non-Native
“The workshop encouraged me to read more on Native education, bi-lingual education, cultural preservation and Native language meaning. In my circles, I am one of the people who raise the questions about Native people. I am very appreciative of the fact that I have been able to participate in this growing community.”
~ Andrea Mercado, non-Native
Please join us as we build resources for 2018 to continue this crucial healing and educational work. Our total budget for 2018 is $175,000 and much of this is funded through private donations. These are examples of how your donations will support our work.
- $100 provides support to Wabanaki families to visit their relatives in prison.
- $300 supports Maine community educational presentations.
- $600 makes wellness events possible in Wabanaki communities.
$1200 supports healing circles for Wabanaki prisoners.
All donations of any amount are welcome.
As you make your donation, please consider forwarding this letter to others in your community so that they can support the effort.
To donate now click here: http://www.mainewabanakireach.org/donate
“What most appeals to me about my work with Maine-Wabanaki REACH is highlighting community strengths and creating opportunities for sharing our ideas, knowledge, work and compassion.
~ Maria Girouard, Penobscot Nation, Health and Wellness Coordinator
To learn more about Maine-Wabanaki REACH, click here: http://www.mainewabanakireach.org/
"We are glad you are here. Our ancestors have been expecting us."