Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
The Acadia Festival of Traditional Music & Dance is held in what is now called Maine, the unceded homeland of the peoples collectively known as the Wabanaki or “People of the Dawnland.” Today, the four federally-recognized tribes belonging to the Wabanaki Alliance are the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and Motahkokmikuk, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and the Penobscot Indian Nation.
As we gather and celebrate traditional music and dance, we are grateful to be here, and acknowledge that we are doing so on the ancestral and unceded territory of the sovereign Wabanaki people that call this land home. We reaffirm our commitment and responsibility to improving relationships between sovereign nations and to improving our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures.
Some actions we can take as we commit to uplifting and supporting First Nations peoples are:
1. To visit the Abbe Museum located in Bar Harbor.
2. To work to listen and bring Native voices to the forefront of land and sovereignty conversations.
3. To donate to Indigenous-led advocacy organizations. Here are Maine/Wabanaki groups we have been learning from:
Wabanaki REACH | Nibezun
First Light Learning Journey
Passamaquoddy Peoples’ Knowledge Portal
4. To commit to continually learning about the history of and present-day issues faced by Indigenous communities and individuals.
Please take a moment to join us in reflecting and acknowledging the harms and mistakes of the past, which include exclusion and erasure of the very people whose land we gather on. May we each consider how we can try, in our own way, to move forward in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration as we work to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and acknowledge the harms it continues to cause Indiginious populations. As you prepare to join us at Acadia Trad, you might enjoy reading about the cultural significance of the place we are gathering or listening to the voices of young Wabanaki artists discussing their work and their goals.
The Acadia Festival of Traditional Music & Dance is governed by Friends of the Acadia Trad Festival, a Maine nonprofit corporation, and supported by Fractured Atlas, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to empowering arts organizations. Website art by Anabelle Keimach and Annelise Papinsick.