Abbe Museum Hosts a Conversation with Wabanaki Community Members

Thursday, May 17th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm the Abbe Museum, downtown Bar Harbor, will host a program entitled, Moving Past Emotional Politics: A Conversation with Wabanaki Community Members. This free program will feature a panel of representatives from each of the five Wabanaki communities in Maine - the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot – who will discuss projects and programs in their communities that promote collaborations based specifically on the needs of their individual communities. The panel discussion will examine the complex history of relationships between non-Native and Native people, while also providing an opportunity for audience participation. 

Moderated by University of Maine Professor, John Bear Mitchell, Penobscot, participants will gain a greater understanding of modern Wabanaki communities and their priorities.  An exploration of opportunities where Native and non-Native people can work together, guided by the needs and interests of Wabanaki communities will be an outcome for the discussion, as well as a platform for Wabanaki representatives to come together and share specific community projects and programs.  “This is a truly unique opportunity to explore important issues and insights from a variety of perspectives,” said Mitchell.

This free program is coordinated with the launch of the AbbeMuseum’s online exhibit Headline News:Wabanaki Sovereignty in the 21st Century, which was a featured exhibit at the Abbe from 2010-2011.  The exhibit dealt with contemporary issues affecting the tribes in Maine, as told through Wabanaki voices. The online exhibit will continue to evolve as new topics are added to reflect the current political and cultural environment in Maine. Topics include: environmental management, the threat of the emerald ash borer beetle, language retention, identity, gaming, and more.  Of special interest is an overview of the Truth and Reconciliation process unique to Maine, with Esther Attean, Passamaquoddy Youth & Community Engagement Team at the Cutler Institute for Health & Social Policy, Muskie School of Public Service.