The Gatherings: Reimagining Indigenous-Settler Relations

By Shirley N. Hager and Mawopiyane

© 2021

Thirty years ago, in Wabanaki territory – a region encompassing the state of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes – a group of Native and non-Native individuals came together to explore some of the most pressing questions at the heart of Truth and Healing efforts in the United States and Canada. What price do we pay for the tragic, unresolved, and fraught relationship between generations of settlers and Indigenous peoples of the land? Can the divide be bridged and, if so, how? Meeting over several years in long-weekend gatherings, in a Wabanaki-led traditional Council format, assumptions were challenged, perspectives upended, and stereotypes shattered. Alliances and friendships were formed that endure to this day.
 
The Gatherings tells the moving story of these meetings in the words of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants. Reuniting to reflect on how their lives were changed by their experiences and how they continue to be impacted by them, the participants share the valuable lessons they learned. Themes emerge, such as the mutual benefits that can be achieved by coming together; what meeting in a Talking Circle, surrounded by ceremony, taught the participants; and what Indigenous ways of knowing can teach us all. The participants were given a rare window into one another’s lives and, in The Gatherings, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers may come to view one another with new eyes.
 
The many voices represented in The Gatherings offer insights and strategies that can inform change at the individual, group, and systems levels. These voices affirm that authentic relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples – with their attendant anxieties, guilt, anger, embarrassments, and, with time, even laughter and mutual affection – are key to our shared futures here in North America. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we come together to reimagine Indigenous-settler relations.

Mawopiyane

Gwen Bear
The Reverend Shirley Bowen
Alma H. Brooks/Zapawey-kwey
gkisedtanamoogk
JoAnn Hughes
Debbie Leighton
Barb Martin
Miigam’agan
T. Dana Mitchell
Wayne A. Newell
Betty Peterson
Marilyn Keyes Roper
Wesley Rothermel

Afterword by Dr. Frances Hancock

To reflect the collaborative nature of this project, the word Mawopiyane is used to describe the full group of co-authors. Mawopiyane, in Passamaquoddy, literally means "let us sit together," but the deeper meaning is of a group coming together, as in the longhouse, to struggle with a sensitive or divisive issue – but one with a very desirable outcome. It is a healing word and one that is recognizable in all Wabanaki languages.

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Product Details

  • Imprint: Aevo UTP
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 23
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP006575

  • AVAILABLE APR 2021

    From: $19.47

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781487508951
  • AVAILABLE APR 2021

    From: $19.47

    Regular Price: $29.95

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In a world that more than ever needs all of our knowledge and wisdom to address the developing crises around us, The Gatherings shows how Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples can come together to create mutually beneficial relationships.

The Gatherings: Reimagining Indigenous-Settler Relations

By Shirley N. Hager and Mawopiyane

© 2021

Thirty years ago, in Wabanaki territory – a region encompassing the state of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes – a group of Native and non-Native individuals came together to explore some of the most pressing questions at the heart of Truth and Healing efforts in the United States and Canada. What price do we pay for the tragic, unresolved, and fraught relationship between generations of settlers and Indigenous peoples of the land? Can the divide be bridged and, if so, how? Meeting over several years in long-weekend gatherings, in a Wabanaki-led traditional Council format, assumptions were challenged, perspectives upended, and stereotypes shattered. Alliances and friendships were formed that endure to this day.
 
The Gatherings tells the moving story of these meetings in the words of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants. Reuniting to reflect on how their lives were changed by their experiences and how they continue to be impacted by them, the participants share the valuable lessons they learned. Themes emerge, such as the mutual benefits that can be achieved by coming together; what meeting in a Talking Circle, surrounded by ceremony, taught the participants; and what Indigenous ways of knowing can teach us all. The participants were given a rare window into one another’s lives and, in The Gatherings, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers may come to view one another with new eyes.
 
The many voices represented in The Gatherings offer insights and strategies that can inform change at the individual, group, and systems levels. These voices affirm that authentic relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples – with their attendant anxieties, guilt, anger, embarrassments, and, with time, even laughter and mutual affection – are key to our shared futures here in North America. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we come together to reimagine Indigenous-settler relations.

Mawopiyane

Gwen Bear
The Reverend Shirley Bowen
Alma H. Brooks/Zapawey-kwey
gkisedtanamoogk
JoAnn Hughes
Debbie Leighton
Barb Martin
Miigam’agan
T. Dana Mitchell
Wayne A. Newell
Betty Peterson
Marilyn Keyes Roper
Wesley Rothermel

Afterword by Dr. Frances Hancock

To reflect the collaborative nature of this project, the word Mawopiyane is used to describe the full group of co-authors. Mawopiyane, in Passamaquoddy, literally means "let us sit together," but the deeper meaning is of a group coming together, as in the longhouse, to struggle with a sensitive or divisive issue – but one with a very desirable outcome. It is a healing word and one that is recognizable in all Wabanaki languages.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Imprint: Aevo UTP
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 23
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Shirley N. Hager is a retired associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Currently, she serves with the Friends (Quaker) Committee on Maine Public Policy and chairs its Committee on Tribal-State Relations.


    Mawopiyane is a name chosen to describe the full group of co-authors. It means, in Passamaquoddy, “let us sit together.”
  • Table of contents

    Foreword
    With Gratitude
    Notes on Terminology
    Introduction

    Gathering

    The Talking Circle

    Miigam’agan
    Wayne
    Gwen
    Dana
    Alma
    Barb
    gkisedtanamoogk
    Shirley H.
    Debbie
    Shirley B.
    Wesley
    Marilyn
    Betty
    JoAnn

    The Last Gathering
    The Decision
    Hindsight
    The Gatherings: May 1987 to May 1993
    Creating This Book

    The Giveaway Blanket

    The Circle and Ceremony
    The Circle and Decision Making
    Ceremony: Protect or Share It?

    Allies, Friends, Family
    Beginnings
    The Women Compare Notes
    The Relationship Evolves
    Mutuality

    How We Got Here
    The Doctrine of Discovery
    But What about the Treaties?
    The Personal Is Political
    Economic Self-Determination
    Beginning to Make Amends
    Some Progress ... and a Long Way to Go

    How It Could Be Different
    Being Here Legitimately
    Acknowledging First Peoples/Honoring the Treaties
    An Indigenous Worldview
    The Need for Gathering Spaces
    Creating a Gathering Space
    Working Together on a Cause
    Humility versus “White Guilt”
    Non-Natives Working with Our Own People
    Entering the Longhouse

    Being in the Relationship: An Afterword by Dr. Frances Hancock

    Appendix: How This Book Came to Be
    Notes
    Suggested Resources
    Contributors
    Map: Location of the Gatherings
    Reader’s Guide
    Index

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