© 2018 by Community Water Justice. 

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Land and Water Recognition

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Historical Context

 

History is commonly understood through the lens of those in power or of a dominant culture. For centuries, the American narrative has been rewritten to conceal the unthinkable crimes against humanity on which this country was founded. These historical violations and the continued systemic oppression of indigenous communities not only continue to go unacknowledged, they are often denied by those in positions of power as we witness today.

We live on stolen land. Indigenous peoples were violently removed from 99% of their homeland and forced into so-called “reservations” where they have been subjected to some of the worst poverty and substandard living conditions in the country due to subjugation by our government and carried out by the dominating settler culture.  Despite the oppression, native peoples are courageously still here, leading the fight for environmental and water protections. We acknowledge indigenous ancestral wisdom, and that 'benefits' of development are stunted though a culture of colonization which lacks a sophisticated wisdom of ecological symbiosis.  

The Wabanaki ("People of the First Light" or "People of the Dawnland"), also known as the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot are the original stewards of the region which we now call Maine.  We acknowledge and respect their struggle and leadership, and are grateful for their continued stewardship of the land and waters that sustain us all.

Collective liberation means recognizing that all of our struggles are intimately connected, and that we must work together to create the kind of world we know is possible. We believe that every water source and person is worthy of dignity and respect, and that within systems of oppression everyone suffers.

We are committed to being in right relationship- to the land, the water and the inhabitants of this region.

Sunlight Media Collective documentary film

The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory

Click on photo below to watch the film.

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Banner drop from a bridge over the Penobscot River bringing attention to the continued territorial takings in the ongoing Penobscot vs Mills case. Click on the photo to learn more.

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