Education

Businesses for Wabanaki Sovereignty

At ReVision, we believe a just and equitable future is possible, and part of that work involves advocacy efforts on issues of racial and social justice. As a Maine-based company, we are aware that the place we live and work on is indigenous unceded land taken from the Wabanaki and Abenaki people. We also know that Maine is the only state in the country that does not recognize tribal sovereignty for its indigenous people, meaning they cannot access the benefits provided by federal laws that support Tribal Nations and communities. Since 1980 there have been over 150 federal laws passed that have not applied to the Wabanaki because of this, covering everything from environmental protection to health care to disaster response.  

We cannot achieve the just and equitable future in our mission statement without Wabanaki tribal sovereignty.
 


Wabanaki Sovereignty event.pngIn 2022 we became one of the first businesses to join the Businesses for Wabanaki Sovereignty - a coalition of businesses around the state dedicated to supporting and advocating for Tribal Sovereignty. On January 24, this branch of the Wabanaki Alliance officially launched, with over 150 people gathered at an event at Patagonia Freeport, hosted by Maine B Corps and 1% For the Planet. Maulian Bryant, Penobscot Nation Ambassador, and Richard Silliboy, Vice Chief of the Mi’kmaq Nation, explained what tribal sovereignty means to them and what they’re looking forward to in the coming years.  

"It’s been an uphill battle trying to get treaty rights, and the rights that other tribes across the nation have,” said Silliboy, "This is not a short battle, it’s been going on for years.” The lack of federal recognition, Silliboy said, has prevented the Wabanaki nations – the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, and Penobscot Nation – from experiencing the economic growth that has reached other tribes around the country.  


Patagonia Freeport.png"We grew up in poverty and we lived in poverty most of our lives,” Silliboy said of his experience, "and we see racism. People say there isn’t racism in Maine, but when you live it, you see it.” Still, Silliboy and Bryant are optimistic about the future, in terms of economic growth, social equality, and tribal sovereignty.  

"Support from the public is such a big thing,” explains Bryant, "We’re in a moment when people care what we have to say. We want to make things better – for not just our people, but all people. Our issues are everybody’s issues in Maine. When we do better, we bring everyone in the state along with us.”  

"This is something we’ll keep fighting for,” Silliboy said in his characteristically quiet, steady tone, “and I’m sure that eventually the tribes will win and we’ll get the benefits that we need, the benefits that other tribes have across the nation.” 

Business as a Force for Good

It’s critical that more businesses join the alliance, to show Maine state government and the Maine public that a wide range of people, organizations, and corporations support this issue and want rights restored to our Wabanaki neighbors. It also makes a difference internally, as businesses listen to their employees’ voices and prove that business really can be a force for positive social change.  

"I am grateful to work for a company that not only encourages us to bring our values to work, but is willing and committed to putting time, energy, and resources towards putting these values into action. For better or for worse, businesses have a lot of power in our society to make change. I am very proud to be a part of ReVision and their commitment to using their power to support the Wabanaki Alliance. Our mission includes creating a just and equitable electric future, and supporting equity for the Wabanaki people is a deeply important step in reaching that. I’m beyond happy to work for a place that encourages me to get my advocacy hat back on. I feel like the system of capitalism doesn’t give us much time to pursue advocacy and change, and ReVision is putting work into giving employee-owners the support to create a better world.” —Annalise K., ReVision Energy  

"This land, upon which we build our lives, is unceded land and it’s imperative that the larger community come together and restore tribal sovereignty. As an individual stewarding a business dedicated to positive social and environmental impact, I believe that businesses have a responsibility to lend their collective voice towards reconciliation, peace, and justice." —Suzi P, Redbird Media 

"It is so important for those who have a voice to support those who do not. For ReVision Energy to work as a part of the Businesses for Wabanaki Sovereignty means they and any other businesses that do, are providing a much stronger voice to Maine's Indigenous people. Maine’s Native American tribes deserve the right to tribal sovereignty, become federally recognized tribes and have a means to support their people economically. I am proud to work for a company that understands their role in helping to make that happen.” -Judy N., ReVision Energy  

Join the Wabanaki Alliance

JEDI Maine Wabanaki.pngWe’re proud of our involvement in the Businesses for Wabanaki Sovereignty. If you are an employee or owner of a Maine-based business and have any questions about the group, please reach out to us at hello@revisionenergy.com  

As Tara Jenkins, panel moderator and founder of Conscious Revolution, stated at the event: “It’s kind of a no-brainer.” A good future for Maine must include Wabanaki sovereignty and we’re proud to be working alongside the Wabanaki Alliance to make that future a reality. 

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