Past Phase:    First Light Learning Journey’s first phase from late 2017 through 2019. This period involved land trusts coming together to learn about Wabanaki history, culture and the impacts of land loss and seeking out relationships in the five Wabanaki communities.  They went on multi-day trips to each of the five communities to meet with chiefs, ambassadors and natural resource directors to understand land stewardship needs.  They went on a joint canoe expedition together and began to develop specific tools to enable the legal granting of access and the sharing of rights to land.  The first phase concluded in June, 2019 with a large gathering Building Collaboration across the Lands of the Wabanaki that was held on lake Millinocket facing Katahdin. It is referred to as the Katahdin gathering. Many Wabanaki and land trust participants felt this was a milestone event marking the beginning of the real work.

In late 2019, we embarked on an in-depth evaluation period, meeting one on one with Wabanaki people from all of the Tribes as well as with land trust participants.  What is possible?  What is needed to meet this possibility? With the constructive input from that process we now enter a second phase that we expect to be about 18 months long.

Current Phase: First Light Journey is quickly evolving into three focus areas:

 (1) creation of a Wabanaki Task Force on Land and Land Stewardship representing all of the Tribes with added capacity and infrastructure to sustain it,

(2) creation of a similarly sized Land Trust Delegation for Wabanaki Engagement with added capacity and infrastructure to sustain it, and

(3) continuing the Learning Journey for approximately 20 committed conservation organizations around Maine that expands and enhances connections and communication.

 In June of 2021, this second phase will come to a close and be acknowledged and celebrated with a second gathering at the foot of Katahdin, similar to our June gathering in 2019.

Wabanaki Task Force on Land and Land Stewardship

A Tribally appointed group of representatives from each Tribe, building voice and power, to focus on issues and priorities around land ownership, land access, and land stewardship.

Land Trust Delegation on Wabanaki Engagement

A group of authorized representatives of land conservation organizations that is similar in size to the Wabanaki Task Force, who will focus on priorities, needs and responses to the Wabanaki Task Force in order to best support expanding Wabanaki stewardship of land.  

Learning Journey

Continuing shared learning, making connections and expanding the base of people focused on learning from and creating more access for Wabanaki’s land-based culture.

Details on the program will be posted below as they develop.

Information on the outcomes of First Light and past events are found in the Steps Forward section of this website.