The land upon which most Mainers dwell, and to which some of us claim ownership, was forcibly taken from indigenous people over the course of many generations. Meawhile, African Americans and other people of color have been continually excluded and dispossessed from opportunities to secure stable land-based livelihood. These patterns continue. Work for the well-being of our communities and environments must heed the call for reparations—for action that participates in acknowledging, grieving, and repairing the damage that has been done to people, families, cultures, and the land.
We are currently opening conversation with members of Maine’s Native tribes and African American communities to explore possibilities for our organization’s active participation in reparations. One possibility includes the creation of a statewide, voluntary “land tax” for land-owning descendants of settlers that would benefit a Maine reparations fund controlled by leaders of most-affected communities. We are committed to taking the lead from most-affected communities as we seek pathways forward.
Please see our resources page for more information on reparations, and please get in touch if you have ideas or would like to be in conversation about this work.