By:  Jud Knox
Team Leader, RIPC
RC of York
The Rotary Indigenous Partnership Committee, RIPC, has been working feverishly over the last eighteen months to partner with the Indigenous Peoples of Maine and Eastern Canada. Team members with diverse expertise, experience and expectations have pooled their commitment to understanding and building meaningful and lasting relationships with the Tribal Communities in Maine.  Listening to and learning from Indigenous spokespeople has served as the foundation for relationship efforts.  Reading and research has also enhanced the Team's knowledge base.
RIPC cherishes the understanding that success will be wedded to responding as partners to the desires and beliefs of the Tribal Communities.
The Committees current priorities are supporting three programs.
The well-established Wabanaki Youth Sciences (WAYS) program, an experiential education program offering youth the opportunity to learn traditional indigenous environmental practices integrated with current science approaches. The Team has a fundraising goal of $12,000 to fund 12 students for this program.
Partnering with the Houlton Maliseets on a beautifully designed Medicine Wheel Medicinal Garden. A generous grant from the Sewall Foundation will allow for the engagement of a landscape architect to update the project plans and financials. The team will begin to formulate Fundraising goals and plans soonest.  The team plans to visit the proposed site and the Houlton Rotary Club in June.
Informing District 7780 Rotarians about Indigenous partner approaches and opportunities
District Rotarians interested in joining, supporting or hearing more about the Committee's efforts are invited to contact any Committee member listed below.  For those wishing to schedule a Club presentation, contact Michele Bois-Gilbody,
Jud Knox, RC of York,
Lucy Abbott, RC of Bethel,
Brenda Pollock, RC of Biddeford-Saco,
Patricia Sprague, RC of South Portland/Cape Elizabeth,
Marguerite Belanger, RC of Kennebunk Portside,
Rich Campbell, RC of Portland,
George Klauber, RC of Bridgton-Lake Region,
Chris Hamilton, RC of Damariscotta-Newscastle,