The Maine State-Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission is the first of its kind in the United States, representing a groundbreaking moment in the history of tribal-state relations. Adapting a global model, it is also the first TRC to be created by all parties to a conflict. The work has been closely followed by tribal leaders, child welfare workers, transitional justice practitioners, and an array of scholars across the country and around the world. The voices and conclusions of the TRC have created a foundation that others are building upon to uncover disavowed truths.
This TRC has the potential to establish an honest and unblinking history of the failings of colonial child protection systems and to create a path to further dialogue and collaboration between Indigenous peoples and settler communities. These are monumental goals. The TRC tackled them with a short timeline—just 27 months—before the mandate ended in June 2015.
Read the TRC’s final report here.