I have been asked many times over the past 5 years as to how the Métis of Maine organized and why? My wife (little Dove) and I were asked to join the Wik-Wam-Sun-Ote Band in New Brunswick and after we we researched (genealogies) we were excepted into their Band. Then when the New Brunswick Métis was organized we were asked if we would like to join and we did along with Brent Allaire. At that time we were instrumental in many people from Maine and Mass. joining these two groups. Brent and I and sometimes John Deschenes were able to make one meeting a year and it wasn't enough as we wanted to be an active part. I was appointed as a Regional Chief of Maine under the Métis of New Brunswick to organize a group here for them. I did nothing at this time to organize anything although Brent and a few others were adamant about me doing this. I thought and saw at the time that the New Brunswick Métis was growing too fast and without a lot of direction as it was close to 10,000 members when it imploded and broke apart. This was the first 2 years. Brent and I did attend a chiefs meeting in St. Louis de Kent with about 100 other chiefs attending. I was very surprised that only a handful knew much about their traditions (very disappointing).
After that Little Dove and I spent many hours drawing up by-laws, charter and mission statement. Scrapping and ripping up and starting all over again. It took about three years of this before we were fairly satisfied with something that we could present to a meeting. We called together as many people as we could including the people that belonged to the Canadian Métis. This meeting took place on NOV. 10, 2002 there were 32 people at this meeting. We told people that what we had was a draft and if they were interested in forming a Band that it was up to them to change or rewrite anything to make it acceptable by them. It was hashed and rehashed and finally we all agreed to the by-laws, charter and mission statement. We were off and running. Since then there has only been one amendment added to the by-laws and a revised mission statement.
Because of what we had experienced in the New Brunswick Métis I strongly recommended a slow but steady growth. On the second Sunday of January 2003 we held our first official meeting and elected Bob Silver Eagle as Grand Chief, Brent Allaire as First Chief, Sec. / Treas. was John Red Heart Spirit Bear Deschenes, Grand Council of Elders was Faith Little Dove Brawn, Francois Morin and Charles Eagle Spirit Brawn, Grand Council was Wendy Dancing Moon Anderson, Nancy Pine Beers and Anne Whitten. That was a start. In the fall of that year we filled the vacancies with Kim Deschenes and Raven Bush on Elders and Marie Patient Owl Matthews and Arthur Three Eagles Brawn on Council, along with various committees and started planning for our first Pow-wow.
The name given to us was suggested by Little Dove and accepted as Métis Eastern Tribal Indian Society of Maine (M E T I S). Métis because that is who we are (mixed Bloods) Eastern because that is where we originate, Tribal because we are a group or band, Indian because most people recognize that word as the aboriginals in this country and Society because we didn't want to create animosity with the other Tribes of Maine.
Since then we have filled all positions of both councils, started a Turtle Island newsletter (Wendy Anderson was the first editor and now Bonnie Delcourt who has taken the position.) We have had four successful POW-WOWS, gone to Augusta for recognition and turned down. Gifted a farmhouse and 12 acres of land in Dayton, Maine by Deborah Yellow Feather Bean, Raven started a web-site of which is now run by Carol Manter. Don Lost Eagle Manter is our First Chief. Little Dove Head spokesperson for Elders, Wendy is Head spokesperson for Council. We are up to 201 members and growing. We are establishing a relationship with other tribes. We will have our 5th annual powwow on our new land in June of 2008.
The Councils have had various items that have been taken up by them and are a good working group of people that we all can be proud of. We are also proud of everyone who is now a part of this growing and working family in the Métis of Maine. Little Dove and I put on our first powwow in 1994 and continued to 1998 and it was then that the seed started to grow into what it has become now in 2008 and with the Creators blessing it will continue to grow and give our future generations the history that most of were denied and they can be proud of everyone of us who has taken this step. That is why it is important to document everything that we establish and do just for them, the future seventh generation of which each one of us are.
Bob Silver Eagle Brawn
Grand Chief, Métis of Maine
Faith Little Dove Brawn