From the community

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration to feature Esther Attean 1/20

Posted Jan. 02, 2013, at 2:55 p.m.

Esther Attean to speak at MLK event

The Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine will commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday, January 20, with a vegetarian potluck supper at 6 p.m. at the Center, 96 Harlow Street in Bangor. At 7 p.m. there will be a talk by Esther Altvater Attean, director of community organizing, for the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission process.

A Passamaquoddy Tribal citizen, Esther Attean holds an MSW from the University of Maine. She has been with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine for nine years and is the lead staff person for the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. For seven years prior she worked for the Penobscot Nation Department of Human Services, providing family support and community program development services. With a background in community organizing and social justice, she is particularly knowledgeable about oppression, intergenerational trauma and Indian child welfare in the United States. Esther has been a guest in the Penobscot Nation community for almost three decades and resides there with her four children.

A quotation by Martin Luther King from Why We Can’t Wait is particularly appropriate to bear in mind for this occasion:

“We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. … It was upon this massive base of racism that the prejudice toward the nonwhite was readily built and found rapid growth. This long-standing racist ideology has corrupted and diminished our democratic ideals”.

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