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‘Reclaiming the Water Commons’ Topic of Oct. 25 Conference

“Reclaiming the Water Commons: Water Ethics & Nature Rights in Maine” is the theme of the 10th annual Ecopeace Sustainability Training and International Affiliations (ESTIA) conference Oct. 25 at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

The all-day symposium features speakers, roundtable discussions and performances. The conference represents a diversity of views about the ethics of the water commons and nature rights and addresses concerns of Penobscot Nation, says Hugh J. Curran of UMaine’s Peace and Reconciliation Program.

It starts with an 8:45 a.m. opening ceremony by gkisedtanamoogk of Wampanoag Nation and concludes with a 5 p.m. musical performance by Hawk Henries. John Bear Mitchell of Penobscot Nation will share stories after the opening ceremony and Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, will perform during lunch. A number of artists will display pieces at the event.

John Banks, director of the Department of Natural Resources at Penobscot Indian Nation, is the featured speaker for the morning session. Gail Darrell, New England Community Organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, will deliver the afternoon address.

After both lectures, facilitators will lead roundtable discussions on a variety of topics. Jennifer Greene, executive director of the Water Research Institute, will moderate “The Intrinsic Nature of Water & a New Social Ethic for Water Resources.” Sherri Mitchell, executive director of the Land Peace Foundation, will facilitate “Indigenous Water Rights on a Global Scale.” Masanobu Ikemiya, a classically trained pianist who was a practicing monk for 10 years, will lead “Water and the Power of Music and Words to Heal.”

Cost is $35 per person/$25 for students and seniors. Attendees may bring a meal or purchase lunch for $5. For more information, email Curran at or Emily Markides at To register or to request a disability accommodation, call Diana McSorley at 207.338.8000. Registration is also open 8-8:30 a.m. the day of the conference at the Hutchinson Center.


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