BELFAST, Maine — “Reclaiming the Water Commons: Water Ethics & Nature Rights in Maine” is the theme of the 10th annual ESTIA EcoPeace Conference to be held on Oct. 25, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
The all-day symposium features speakers, roundtable discussions and several performances. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with an opening ceremony by gkisedtanamoogkof the Wampanoag Nation at 8:30 am. John Bear Mitchell, a storyteller from the Penobscot Nation, will share a story on water themes just prior to John Bank’s talk which will take place 9:15-10 a.m., followed by round table discussions and audience participation. “Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm” will perform during lunch.
After lunch poet Sandra Hutchison will read a poem on water themes. After the poetry reading, Gail Darrell, New England community organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund will deliver the afternoon address to be followed by more round table discussions.
The discussions include: John Peckenham from the “George J. Mitchell Center on Sustainability Solutions” to facilitate “Safe Water as a global issue: water ethics from hometown to global commons”; Masanobu Ikemiya, a local concert pianist, will lead “Water and the Power of Music and Words to Heal”; Jennifer Greene, executive director of the Water Research Institute of Blue Hill, will moderate “The Intrinsic Nature of Water & a New Social Ethic for Water Resources”;Sherri Mitchell, executive director of the Land Peace Foundation, will facilitate “Indigenous Water Rights on a Global Scale”; Barbara Arter, an environmental consultant will lead a discussion on “the human footprint in Maine’s eastern coastal waters”; Kyriacos & Emily Markides will facilitate “living in God’s Creation & environmental concerns”; John Bear Mitchell will lead “the value of storytelling in nature rights” and Susie O’Keeffe “how art can influence environmental ethics”.
Eight artists from Bangor area and Downeast Maine will display artworks relating to the theme of water during the event. The day will conclude with a half-hour musical performance by noted flute maker and musician Hawk Henries at 5 p.m.