News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 27, 2013
Shetterly to speak, display portrait in Castine

Nationally recognized Brooksville artist Robert Shetterly will lead the worship service on Sunday, December 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine. The service and Sunday school begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Meeting House on the Town Common, followed by coffee and fellowship.

In “Truth and Reconciliation,” Shetterly will speak on a process recently underway: the Maine Wabanaki—State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Modeled in part on the process that helped knit the raveled fabric of post-apartheid South Africa, according to a press release, Maine’s commission will explore the practice of removing native children from their families and placing them with white families.

Esther Attean, a member of Maine’s Passamaquoddy tribe, is working with the commission and is among the newest “Americans Who Tell the Truth” captured by Shetterly for his series of portraits. Attean’s portrait is inscribed with her thoughts: “For native people, forced assimilation and acculturation distort our thoughts, feelings, and actions, creating a disconnect with our identity and traditions. We start to believe that there is something wrong with us. The truth is, our resilience, strength, humor, and intelligence have saved us from extinction, will enable us to heal from generational trauma, and will restore our culture so we may thrive as distinct, unique, beautiful people the Creator meant us to be.”

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