DAWNLAND: Screening and Discussion


Thursday, October 1, 2020
4:00pm – 5:30pm

(Mashpee Wampanoag)
Maine-Wabanaki TRC Co-Chair

Gail Werrbach
Maine-Wabanaki TRC Member

Adam Mazo
Co-Director, Dawnland

Mishy Lesser
Learning Director, Upstander Project

Dawnland Poster

For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to save them from being Indian. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the  United States begins a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.


Watch the Film


For UConn Faculty and Students, access the film through you Libraries account here:

UConn Libraries Dawnland Link


For community members, access the film by contacting doddcenter@uconn.edu for the special viewing code.

Join the discussion

October 1, 2020
4:00pm – 5:30pm


Register for the Zoom Event here:



gkisedtanamoogk (key-said-TAH-NAH-mook) (Mashpee Wampanoag) is from the community of Mashpee located on what is currently called Cape Cod in Massachusetts. He served as co-chair of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was an Adjunct Instructor with the Native American Studies Program and the Peace and Reconciliation Programs on the Orono campus of the University of Maine for more than a decade.



Dr. Gail Werrbach was a faculty member at the University of Maine School of Social Work for 31 years. She was past Director of the School and Associate Professor. Dr. Werrbach also received and administered four Indian Child Welfare training grants from the US Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau that provided support for Native American social work students.  Dr. Werrbach was one of five Commissioners for the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.





Adam Mazo is the director of the Upstander Project and an Emmy® Award-winning social issue documentarian. His feature-length and short films are the core part of the Upstander Academy curriculum. Adam co-directed and produced First Light (Camden International Film Festival) and Dawnland (PBS/Independent Lens), about the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first government-sanctioned TRC in U.S. history. In September 2019, Dawnland won an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Research.  Originally from Minnesota, Adam lives with his family in the territory of the Massachusett people in the place now called Boston.



Mishy Lesser, Ed.D., is the learning director of the Upstander Project and the founder, co-director, curriculum designer and a lead facilitator of the Upstander Academy, a weeklong professional learning experience for teachers and museum educators that focuses on genocide and human rights education and the skills of upstanders. She spent years researching and writing the Teacher’s Guide for Dawnland, contributing to its 2019 Emmy® for Outstanding Research. Mishy authored the Coexist Teacher’s Guide to promote learning about the complexity of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. She is currently an Education Fellow at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.