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This is not a day off.

Dear Friends,

Last year was the first time Maine recognized Indigenous People’s Day as an official state holiday in replacement of Columbus Day. This was an important shift, but not enough to ensure that Indigenous communities are recognized and respected as sovereign nations. It is our responsibility not to think of this as a day off, but as a day on:

Today we reflect. The violent legacy of colonization on Indigenous communities persists to this day. We must learn the history of these harms in order to heal them.

Today we celebrate. Indigenous people’s resilience, culture, and wisdom should be honored. We must do our part to uplift Indigenous voices, stories, and experiences.

Today we act. Here in Maine, Wabanaki communities are still fighting against policies and practices that disrespect and undermine their sovereignty. We must embrace decolonization efforts spearheaded by Wabanaki leaders.

Maine Initiatives is proud to be in partnership with these incredible grassroots grantees led by and serving Wabanaki communities. Make a donation, sign up for their newsletters, act in solidarity with their work: