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Wabanaki leaders, allies gather in Augusta for 'Celebration of Rising Voices'

“Healthy communities isn’t just our business, it really affects everyone in Maine.”

AUGUSTA, Maine — Wabanaki leaders and allies are gathering in Augusta on Tuesday to start the new legislative session with a big welcome from the tribes.

At the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta from 6 to 8 p.m., the Wabanaki Alliance is hosting a “Celebration of Rising Voices” event. The Penobscot Nation Tribal Ambassador, Maulian Dana said she hopes the event will sustain the goodwill between the alliance and legislators.

“The event tonight is just kind of a welcome, you know, from us to everyone serving this session and putting ourselves out there to teach, and talk, and learn, and get to know each other as human beings and talk about how to shape policy together,” Dana said.

The joyful gathering serves to honor a large number of supporters the Wabanaki Alliance has been able to bring together over the last couple of years.

Wabanaki Leaders argue that the tribal nations in Maine are denied benefits that many other tribes in the country possess. Tonight’s celebration serves to remind new legislators of that disparity and the progress made in the last session.

“We were able to start so many important conversations, and we didn’t want to lose those relationships with lawmakers that we had really nurtured and grown. We want to be able to kind of be front of mind for the new lawmakers coming in,” Dana said.

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