In Maine, for much of the 20th century, child-welfare workers routinely removed Wabanaki children from their homes and placed them in foster care with white families. From 2000 to 2013, Wabanaki kids were still five times more likely than non-Native kids to wind up in the system. Generations of communities were gutted. In Dawnland, airing this month on PBS, directors Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip track the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission — the first state-sanctioned TRC in the U.S. — to explore the private and public fallout of what the commission deemed cultural genocide.
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