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Committee on Indian Relations RGB

Our Mission Statement

We are called by our Creator to deepen our relationship with the Wabanaki of Maine, to stand with the tribes in the pursuit of justice, to affirm their inherent sovereignty and to support the preservation of Native languages and culture.

Contact Us

John Dieffenbacher-Krall, who has served as chair since 2017, will be stepping down this year. Stay tuned for the announcement of a new chair! In the meantime, please direct your questions or request to join an upcoming monthly meeting to John Hennessy, Director of Advocacy and Networks or Stephen Ward, Diocesan Council Liaison. 


Penobscot River restoration offers model for tribal-state relations
Read the opinion piece by John Maddaus, a member of the Committee on Indian Relations of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, published here in the Bangor Daily News in July 2021: "Penobscot River restoration offers model for tribal-state relations

Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission honors former CIR chair

The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC) honored the long-time service of John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Past Chair of the Episcopal Committee on Indian Relations, at its January 2021 meeting. MITSC is an inter-governmental entity created by the Maine Implementing Act of 1980. Six members are appointed by the State, two by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, two by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and two by the Penobscot Indian Nation. John held the position of Executive Director for MITSC from 2005 to 2017 and has continued as a consultant and volunteer after that period. He has devoted his adult life to community service and social change, working for environmental, multi-issue, and intergovernmental groups, in addition to extensive volunteer service. Read his remarks upon being honored here.    

Resolution Adopted by the 201st Convention of the Diocese of Maine - Oct. 23, 2020

Celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Diocesan-Wide Worship - Oct. 11, 2020

In 2019 the state of Maine enacted legislation to replace Columbus Day with a celebration of Indigenous People. In October of 2020, our diocesan Racial Justice Council of the Diocese of Maine was pleased to offer a Diocesan-wide worship service in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 
In collaboration with the Committee on Indian Relations, the Justice Commission of the Diocese of Maine, we provided a pre-recorded worship service (and service bulletin) for use by parishes in the diocese.
Highlights of the service included: 
·       Liturgy crafted from indigenous resources 
·       Lakota Direction Song by the Rev. Shaneequa Brokenleg 
·       A sermon by the Rev. Dr. Bradley Hauff, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries for The Episcopal Church 
·       Eucharist celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Carol Walkingstick Theobald Gallagher 
The recorded service is available here on the diocesan YouTube
Download the worship bulletin here.  

Documents for Diocesan Council Presentation in June of 2020

Press Release: New Committee Chair - March 2, 2017

Dieffenbacher-Krall to lead Committee on Indian Relations 

Resolution of the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine regarding the creation of the DVD "Invisible"

At the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine, delegates passed a resolution encouraging Maine Episcopalians “to get to know the Native American people of Maine; to learn about their histories, cultures, values, and yearnings, and join with them as we all share in the ministry of reaching out to all the people of Maine”. This led to the production of a documental film "INVISIBLE" which examines some of the history of the relations between the white and Indian communities in Maine. Through the voices of persons telling their stories, it looks at some of the underlying reasons for the racism so deeply embedded in white American culture and how that racism continues to shape Native American reality. From sales of the video and with the aid of a National Church grant, "INVISIBLE” has been converted to a DVD format. “INVISIBLE” received an extensive and positive review in “Indian Country Today”, the most widely nationally circulated Indian newspaper. The committee continues to explore dialogue and possible future projects with the tribes. With a new grant from the National Church this Committee is aiding the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission to convert a film made several years ago “Wabanaki: A New Dawn” into a DVD format that will be included in an educational packet for Maine Schools.  


Maine Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconcilation Commission

Learn more about the Maine Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconcilation Commission on its public Facebook page. 

Wabanaki Alliance Maine Legislative Scorecard:  https://wabanakialliance.com/maine-legislative-scorecard/  


Bibliography of Books (Contibuted by Nick Smith and with additions by Butch Philips)
General Convention 2009 Legislation For more about the reading of the disavowal of the Doctrine of Discovery, visit Becoming Beloved Community here.
Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, The site says of the commission, “The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission is an inter-governmental entity created by the Maine Implementing Act of 1980. Four members are appointed by the State, two by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, two by the Pasamaquoddy Tribe, and two by the Penobscot Indian Nation. The eleventh, who is the chairperson, is selected by the ten appointees. Nine members constitute a quorum. With a small budget, the Commission operates on a part-time basis.”  Site includes links to Maine Tribal sites, education resources, legal resources and tribal and non-tribal government resources as well as other information.
ABBE Museum, This page includes a Wabanaki history and timeline with links to the Museum Home page, directions to the museum’s two locations, exhibit info, calendar of events, information about the collections, and much more!
Indian Country Today, link to publication.
Wulustuk Times, Aborginal name for St. John's River and publication produced monthly at Tobique, NB, Canada.
Indian Country Today on Twitter, Select Indian Country in order to follow it on Twitter; a social networking site on the internet.  Participation on this site will require that the user register first.
Wabanaki Legal News, Site provides links to community resources, the Jay Treaty, a News archive, the Pine Tree Legal Assistance site, Quinnehtukqut Legal News and Indian Legal Services around the country; phone numbers to the offices of the Pine Tree Legal Assistance services by community.  

Committee Prayer

Our new prayer composed by members of the committee: 

we are all children of your creation
and of many different cultures,
but we do not see all people
or their culture as we see ourselves. 

We believe
that all people should have
social justice and equality,
but we do not treat all people
as we want to be treated. 

Fill us with your spirit of love
wisdom and compassion
so that we may see one another as you see us. 

We pray that we may embrace
and understand all people,
especially our indigenous brothers and sisters,
the Wabanaki,
who struggle to maintain their culture

and their inherent sovereignty. 


 Diocesan Council Liaison 2021: Mr. Steve Ward 

143 State Street (mail to PO Box 4036) | Portland, ME 04101-4036 | Phone: (207) 772-1953 |