Maliseets return to their roots

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians’ 38th annual Recognition Day was a celebration for all ages Saturday, Sept. 15. This year’s theme was “Ntolonapemok,” which translates to “All My Relations.”

The event saw a constant flow of attendees throughout the day, with elders, youngsters and plenty of folks in the middle enjoying the bright sunshine, drumming, dancing, food, vendors, bingo, horseshoes and just plain good times.

Tribal members were especially pleased to see many young people involved in the celebration, with children joining adults during the drumming and singing, while others danced.

Dave Lindsay said he was especially proud of his sons’ participation with the Maliseet Youth Drummers.

“They’ve been working really hard on this,” he said Saturday. “Everything is running smoothly, there’s a good crowd and the weather is beautiful.”

Many in attendance took advantage of the seating under canopies to visit with familiar faces and make new friends.

“We had a great turnout with a lot of new faces, both non-indigenous and from other tribal nations,” said HBMI Chief Clarissa Sabattis. “We had some wonderful additions to the day this year, including our youth drummers/singers offering a welcome song for all in attendance. I have so much gratitude for the hard work by so many staff and community members that made this day happen. Despite the above average temperature, it couldn’t have been more perfect.”

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