UNA-NY presents

in partnership with
Fordham University | Office for International Services
Columbia University | International Students and Scholars Office



Please join us for this Screening the Issues presentation
followed by a discussion with

Indigenous human rights advocate

CHRIS NEWELL (Passamaquoddy)
Senior Advisor to the film


Wednesday |  October 16, 2019

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. |  Registration and Reception
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. |  Film Screening followed by Q+A

Screening begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Dolby 88 Screening Room
1350 Avenue of the Americas (at West 55th Street)
Lobby Level
New York, NY 10019



UNA Members: $10
UNA Student Members: $10
Guests and Non-Members: $15

Purchase all advance tickets for the film HERE

NOTE: $5 of each admission ticket will be donated to the Maine Wabanaki Reach Foundation


Read more here

Woods Hole Film Festival,
Buffalo International Film Festival

Tacoma Film Festival



Powerful and moving, DAWNLAND takes viewers to Wabanaki communities in Maine and inside the Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission as it grapples with the meaning of truth, racial healing, tribal autonomy, and child welfare system reform.

For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools. Many children experienced devastating emotional and physical harm by adults who mistreated them and tried to erase their cultural identity.

Now, for the first time, they are being asked to share their stories.

In Maine, a historic investigation — the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States — begins a bold journey. For over two years, Native and non-Native commissioners travel across Maine, gathering testimony and bearing witness to the devastating impact of the state’s child welfare practices on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribal communities — the tribes which collectively make up the Wabanaki people.

DAWNLAND follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.

The TRC discovers that state power continues to be used to break up Wabanaki families, threatening the very existence of the Wabanaki people. Can they right this wrong and turn around a broken child welfare system? DAWNLAND foregrounds the immense challenges that this commission faces as they work toward truth, reconciliation, and the survival of all Indigenous peoples.

Please join us for this special screening, which will be followed by a Q+A with our guests: Roberto Borrero, an indigenous Taino musician, artist, writer, human rights advocate, and Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy Tribe), the Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (CT) as well as the co-founder and Director of Education for the Akomawt Educational Initiative.

We are pleased to announce that DAWNLAND is the recent winner of an Emmy® award for Outstanding Research. The Upstander Project film won the Emmy at the 40th annual News and Documentary Awards. Read about it here.

This special screening is presented in partnership with the Office for International Services at Fordham University, and the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University.


Roberto “Mukaro” Borrero has a distinguished and diverse background in human rights advocacy, including a specialization on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. He brings over 20 years of experience engaging the United Nations system in thematic areas such as Sustainable Development; Climate Change; the Information Society; and the Organization of American States, among others.

Borrero is a member of the Taíno Tribal Nation, an Indigenous Peoples whose traditional homelands extend through the Greater Antilles and the Southern tip of Florida in the U.S. In 2012, he was traditionally sanctioned as a Kasike (Chief) of the Guainía Taíno tribal community.

Professionally, he has served on the staff of the International Indian Treaty Council and the American Museum of Natural History, and as an independent consultant for UNESCO.

Borrero has a long and respected history as a grass-roots community advocate and has served on numerous boards and committees.

He is currently the board President of the Friends of Brook Park in the South Bronx, NY and Chairperson of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) currently serves as the Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (CT) as well as the co-founder and Director of Education for the Akomawt Educational Initiative. He leads the development of educational programs for the museum and beyond, changing the narrative of how Native history and contemporary issues are taught at all levels of education.

He has lectured on relevant topics to include the portrayal of Native America in mainstream media, cultural insensitivities and Native appropriation challenges and serves regionally as a pow wow MC and singer with the Mystic River and Iron River Singers.

Along with his work in education, Chris has also appeared in feature films and served as the Senior Advisor for tonight's film DAWNLAND, which was produced by The Upstander Project.

Chris was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and is a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut as well as continuing education in Native studies.

About Maine-Wabanaki REACH

Maine-Wabanaki REACH is featured in DAWNLAND. The organization advances Wabanaki self-determination by strengthening the cultural, spiritual and physical well-being of Native people in Maine.

REACH (Reconciliation-Engagement-Advocacy-Change-Healing) sees a future where Maine and Wabanaki people join together, acknowledging truth, promoting healing and creating change.

REACH began as a collaboration of state and tribal child welfare workers who knew from their work together that children, families, and communities need truth, healing, and change.

REACH initiated the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and supported the Commission as it worked in Wabanaki and Maine communities. You can read the Commission’s findings and recommendations, which inform and guide REACH’s work and vision for the future.

REACH staff continues to work with Wabanaki and Maine communities, rejuvenating the spirit that’s rooted in land, ceremony, identity and relationships. REACH supports Wabanaki people in addressing their communities’ needs and aspirations. REACH engages Maine people to acknowledge the full truth of the past, embrace the full truth of the present, and commit to creating a just future, no matter what obstacles are in the way.

This evening, $5 of each admission ticket will be donated to the organization. For additional donations, the filmmakers encourage people to visit the REACH website.

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