We are gathered on the unceded land of the Aucocisco and Abenaki peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Portland Stage asks you to join us in acknowledging the Wabanaki community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. Portland Stage also acknowledges that it was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land this institution is located. This acknowledgment demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism through our work at Portland Stage.
We encourage you to learn more about the peoples who stewarded the land that you now reside on whether you’re from here in Portland or are visiting from away. For more information about the Wabanaki Federation, visit mainewabanakireach.org, and to find out whose land you are on, visit native-land.ca.
We also want to acknowledge that the history of Maine is deeply connected to the institution of slavery in the United States, and that residents of Maine participated in both slavery and the transatlantic slave trade even after slavery was outlawed in the District of Maine. While it may be easy to think of Maine and more specifically Portland as a very White place, we recognize that this is simply not the case and we are working to dismantle these harmful ideas. We encourage our audiences to visit the Abyssinian Meeting House (learn more at abyssinianmeetinghouse.org) or the Eastern Cemetery here in Portland, and to explore scholarship on the subject, like Lives of Consequence by Patricia Q. Wall, to learn more about this oft-neglected part of Maine’s history.
We recognize that the American Theater has also exploited, misrepresented, and excluded communities of Latine, Asian, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern descent for centuries. Portland Stage is recommitting to telling authentic stories from diverse backgrounds that all of our audiences can experience and enjoy.