We open by acknowledging that we are standing on stolen Wabanaki land.

Today we recognize and honor the past and current Tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy: the Mi’kmaq (meeg-mah), Wolastoqiyik (wool-las-two-wi-ig), Penobscot, Abenaki (a-buh-naa-kee), and Passamaquoddy (pa-suh-maa-kwuh-dee), who have sustained this land for many years.

We respect the values of these Tribes and support their efforts for cultural healing and recovery.

The United States was founded on colonization, slavery and genocide. We can’t begin the healing process until we acknowledge this fact. We can begin to move forward and begin the healing process when we look at how the United States was founded and how we can educate ourselves and learn to be allies and partners with all people, including the ones who have been traumatized as painful as that is.

We will take a moment of silence to reflect on our violent past which includes the missing and murdered indigenous women as well as the children who were traumatized and murdered at US and Canadian boarding schools.

This cycle of intergenerational trauma must be broken.

Healing begins with truth.