April 17, 2013

Maine Indian treatment panel hires director

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — A panel that's looking to document past treatment of Wabanaki Indians and their families in Maine has hired an executive director.

Heather Martin, a College of the Atlantic graduate whose background includes grassroots organizing and civil justice work, began work Monday.

The Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission is seeking to uncover and acknowledge how the Maine Child Welfare system affected the lives of Wabanaki children and families through past policies.

In Maine, Indian children were taken from their families and placed in white foster homes at a higher rate than most other states as a result of federal policies of the 1950s. In 1978, the federal Indian Child Welfare Act gave Indian children more protection and recognized the importance of a child's tribal citizenship.

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