Recognition Day planned for HBMI

HOULTON, Maine — For those who have ever wondered about the Native American way of life, the Houlton Band of Maliseets will provide a glimpse when the tribe holds its annual 38th annual Recognition Day celebration this Saturday. 

Recognition Day is held each year to commemorate the anniversary of HBMI becoming a federally recognized tribe on Oct. 10, 1980.

“Recognition day is a beautiful mix of old ways and new in a celebration of us as a people, our language, culture, and perseverance,” Tribal Chief Clarissa Sabattis said Monday. “It also celebrates our federal recognition as a tribe. There will be drummers/singers, and dancers from Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Micmac communities in the U.S. and Canada.”

The event typically draws more than 500 individuals to the tribal lands, located on the Foxcroft Road. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with opening activities following at 10 a.m. with a smudging and pipe ceremony. Smudging is a purification ritual that is traditionally performed before all Native American events.

This event is open to the public and is drug and alcohol free. A variety of food vendors will be on hand and bingo games will be played. A ceremonial grand entry takes place around 11 a.m., featuring tribal drumming and dance.

The day concludes in the Maliseet Gym with a community feast at 5 p.m. followed by a cribbage tournament. For more information, call 532-4273.

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