On Campus Event: DAWNLAND: Documentary Screening & Discussion, Thursday, No. 29, 7PM Kresge Auditorium

Dawnland: Documentary Film Screening and Discussion

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:00 pm
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium
For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families.  As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools.  Many children experienced devasting emotional and physical harm by adults who tried to erase their cultural identity.

The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission, the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States, was established in 2012 to investigate what happened to Wabanaki families in Maine’s child welfare system. Dawnland follows the work of the five Native and non-Native commissioners as they travel across the state to gather testimony and bear witness to the devastating stories of Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot children whose cultural identities were nearly erased.

With exclusive access to the groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals how state power continues to be used to break up Wabanaki families, and how the TRC seeks to plot a new direction.

In 2015, Bowdoin College became the official repository of the archival records of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission.  Following the screening, Adam Mazo, one of the filmmakers, and Esther Anne, a participant in the film, will be on hand to discuss the making of the film, the work of the TRC, and the ongoing importance of documenting the commission’s process and telling and retelling the stories of the Wabanaki people.