By Adam Mazo Ben and Pender-Cudlip. Produced by the Upstander Project for a presentation of Vision Maker Media.
They were forced to assimilate into white society: children ripped away from their families, depriving them of their culture and erasing their identities. Can reconciliation help heal the scars from childhoods lost? DAWNLAND is the untold story of Indigenous child removal in the US through the nation’s first-ever government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission, which investigated the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on the Wabanaki people.
The Wabanaki are the people who are there to greet the light, “the people of the dawn,” in the upper Northeast. For decades, Maine’s child welfare system placed Wabanaki children in foster or adoptive homes under the presumption that assimilating into white society would improve their quality of life and give them a better future. Many children in the system suffered untold physical and psychological abuse. Their story brings to light how getting to the heart of the truth can offer a flicker of hope.
READ: Filmmakers Seek the Truth in Eye-Opening Story of Forced Native Chilld Separation