Upisktwo* and the Art of Reimagining

*a Mic’kmaq word that means “we return to that original place, and let’s try again.” In English it is often translated “forgiveness.”

An online conversation with Maine author Shirley Hager and her co-author Rev. Shirley Bowen about their book “The Gatherings: Reimagining Indigenous-Settler Relations

In a world that requires knowledge and wisdom to address developing crises around us, The Gatherings shows how Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples can come together to create meaningful and lasting relationships.

Join us for this online conversation with Maine author Shirley N. Hager and her co-author Rev. Shirley Bowen.

Thirty years ago, in Wabanaki territory – a region encompassing the state of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes – a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals came together to explore some of the most pressing questions at the heart of Truth and Healing efforts in the United States and Canada. Meeting over several years in long-weekend gatherings, in a Wabanaki-led traditional Council format, assumptions were challenged, perspectives upended, and stereotypes shattered. Alliances and friendships were formed that endure to this day.

The Gatherings tells the moving story of these meetings in the words of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants. Reuniting to reflect on how their lives were changed by their experiences and how they continue to be impacted by them, the participants share the valuable lessons they learned.

Maine Author Shirley N. Hager is a retired associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. She is also a Circles of Trust© facilitator with the national Center for Courage & Renewal. Currently, she serves with the Friends (Quaker) Committee on Maine Public Policy and chairs its Committee on Tribal-State Relations.

The Reverend Shirley Bowen is a founding member of the team that created the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center and has a strong passion for helping to improve the lives of our neighbors. Her first career of 24 years was in higher education administration, specifically, Student Services. Over the past 17 years, Rev. Bowen became an Episcopal priest, a college chaplain, a parish rector, and now serves as Executive Director of Seeds of Hope.

The many voices represented in The Gatherings offer insights and strategies that can inform change at the individual, group, and systems levels. These voices affirm that authentic relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples – with their attendant anxieties, guilt, anger, embarrassments, and, with time, even laughter and mutual affection – are key to our shared futures here in North America. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we come together to reimagine Indigenous-settler relations.

 The Gatherings was released in April, 2021 by the University of Toronto Press and you may read an excerpt here.

Paperback copies of the book now available for pre order. You don’t have to have read the book to attend this event