Here at Saint Mary’s, we acknowledge that we gather on the unceded lands of the peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy: the Passamaquoddy, the Penobscot, the Mi’kmaq, the Maliseet, and the Abenaki. We meet on land that was taken from indigenous people by force and kept from them by fraud. We acknowledge that settler colonialism and racist violence against indigenous people are not sins of the past but are ongoing forms of oppression which we must learn to face and dismantle. We repent of the harm inflicted on these people and, by God’s grace, we commit ourselves to doing what we can to repair the damage that was done.
We also give thanks to our Creator for the lives of these indigenous people of the past, present and future. Native people have not disappeared from Maine. They live among us as our neighbors today, with thriving lives and traditions. We honor them for how they stewarded these lands over the centuries, and we give thanks for their ongoing stewardship of this part of the earth. May we all learn from their love and care for the lands that we are blessed to call home.