Solidarity in Action: Sharing Equity, Power, and Land for Wabanaki Self-Determination

First Light

Room: Connecticut Room

Efforts have been building for 5 years to organize the dominant-culture, privileged, land-holding community in Maine to return land, power, and decision-making to Wabanaki people. This is long work, but already we see tangible results including: the creation of the intertribal Wabanaki Commission; the collective action of numerous non-native organizations under the name First Light; the return of 1500 acres of land; and a commitment from non-native organizations to collectively raise $1 million for a Wabanaki-led fund.This workshop will be one of the first occasions to describe to a broader audience that remarkable effort and its short-term and long-term significance to solidarity. Through short presentations orienting us to the work from Wabanaki and non-native perspectives, followed by a facilitated conversation featuring audience questions, we will share the deep partnership between Wabanaki-led and white-led interests and offer ways for all participants to be part of this movement towards solidarity.


  • Kate Dempsey, The Nature Conservancy in Maine
  • John Banks, Penobscot Nation Natural Resource Department, retired
  • Eliza Oldach, First Light
  • Suzanne Greenlaw, Wabanaki Commission
  • Darren Ranco, Wabanaki Commission
  • Gabriela Alcalde, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
  • Ethan Miller, Land in Common
Date & Time: 
Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 1:15pm EDT