PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Indian tribes and state officials say Indian children were harmed by past child welfare practices that removed children from reservations and they’re looking to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.
A pledge Tuesday to create a Truth and Reconciliation process is intended to mark the start of a process aimed at revealing the tribes’ experiences with the child welfare system, implement additional changes and promote healing.
Esther Attean of the Muskie School of Public Service says progress has been made but hit an “invisible wall,” prompting the reconciliation process.
The agreement was signed by Gov. Paul LePage, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Penobscot Indian Nation and Passamaquoddy tribes at Pleasant Point and Indian Township during a ceremony held on the Penobscot’s Indian Island.