Dawnland—Online Film Screening and Live Q&A

Occurred on Thursday, May 20, 2021

In partnership with Upstander Project we hosted a public online screening of the Emmy® award-winning film Dawnland, followed by a Q&A with film participant Esther Anne of Wabanaki REACH and film senior advisor Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) of the Abbe Museum.

We strive to match The BTS Center’s vision—of human hearts renewed, justice established, and creation restored—with the practice of collective self-examination. We need to hear and heed the stories and lived-experiences of the people whose roots are in this place, and who have suffered from the occupation and colonization of their homeland.

At The BTS Center, many in our community are descendents of white, European settlers in this land. Many of us live and work in Maine, which is the homeland of the Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn; the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Micmac, Maliseet, and Abenaki people who have lived and worked here for generations stewarding their own cultures, and stewarding the forests, the soil, the waters, the air, and our more-than-human kin.  

We hope that this screening and conversation has helped to raise awareness and inspire action among congregations, other community groups, and all people of good will. 

“For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to ‘save them from being Indian.’ In Maine, the first official Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States begins a historic investigation. Dawnland goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.” (from Upstander Project’s website)

For more information about Dawnland:

Please consider this notice from the Dawnland Viewer’s Guide (available here): 

“Watching the film may especially impact those in the audience who were separated from their family, sent to boarding school, adopted or fostered, and we strongly encourage viewers to consider this prior to watching the film so all can be well supported while viewing. Please take care of yourself and others.”

View the recorded post screening Q&A below.