Tyler-Ann Harris is a Penobscot tribal citizen who spends her days training in the Penobscot Nation Tribal Clerk’s office and her evenings studying for the Law School Entrance Exam. She graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and completed an internship with Maine State Senator Geoffrey Gratwick of District 9. Tyler-Ann was recently elected to the Penobscot Nation Census Committee, carrying on a family tradition as the fourth generation to serve on this particular committee. Tyler-Ann serves serves as Secretary for the REACH Board of Directors and on REACH’s Finance and Human Resources Committee.
Denise Altvater, Passamaquoddy from Sipayik, has served as Coordinator of Wabanaki Youth Program for the American Friends Service Committee for over twenty-five years. She was central to the creation, design, and implementation of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, being the first to share her experiences in state foster care with the community and public. Denise now serves as Treasurer for the REACH Board of Directors and the Finance Committee.
Esther Anne, Passamaquoddy from Sipayik, joined the Muskie School of Public Service in 2003 where she works on projects that engage and benefit tribal communities including facilitating the Maine tribal state Indian Child Welfare Act workgroup and creating child welfare resources with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. She had a primary role in the creation and establishment of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Wabanaki REACH. Esther serves on the communications, Fundraising and, Development Committee.
Elise Bolda, retired from the Master of Public Health faculty at University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School, in 2018. Her eyes were opened to the history of Maine-Wabanaki relations, REACH, and the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Commission as the result of a Wolastoq graduate student’s work with REACH and the TRC. In addition to encouraging support for REACH’s work, Elise volunteers with I-PIE, a Muskie School-based group of students, staff and faculty working to decolonize education. Elise lives and continues to learn in Scarborough. She serves on the REACH Board of Directors and the Human Resources/Finance Committee.
Penthea Burns, has worked at the University Of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service since 1999 and in the field of child welfare since 1981. Her experience includes delivering direct service, advocacy, training and technical assistance, and policy guidance. Penthea currently serves on the REACH Board of Directors (Board co-chair), Fundraising Development Committee, and initiatives focused on decolonizing higher education and faith communities. She is a co-founder of Wabanaki REACH, the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Youth Leadership Advisory Team (youth leaders in foster care), and Camp To Belong Maine (a summer camp program that reunites siblings separated by foster care and adoption). Penthea has an adult son who lives in PA.
Alivia Moore, of the Penobscot Nation, is a two-spirit community organizer committed to restoring traditional methods of healing through balanced relationship with the earth. She works to restore Wabanaki cultural lifeways as a path to heal our tribal families and revitalize indigenous food systems. As a co-founder & builder of Eastern Woodlands Rematriation, she supports the development of the Wabanaki Community Herbal Apothecary. Alivia is also immersed in tribal & state child welfare system reform and fosters native children. She is honored to serve the mission of Wabanaki REACH as the co-chair of the Board and the Communications Committee.
Diane Oltarzewski, originally from New Jersey, moved to Belfast in 2013 when she retired from a career in organization administration. She has a B.A. in History from Skidmore College and worked most of her life in New York City. Once in Belfast, she soon came to know the work REACH and began reading and learning about the tribes and what actually happened in this land. Diane is a member of the Friends Committee for Maine Public Policy, monitoring the discussions at the Tribal-State Commission and learning about relevant legislation in Augusta, providing testimony to several committees on various bills introduced on behalf of the tribes. Diane serves on the REACH Board of Directors and on the Communications Committee.
Nolan Altvater is a Passamaquoddy from Sipayik and is currently completing an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Maine in Orono. Nolan works for the Wabanaki Youth in Science Program helping the Maliseet Nation create and implement school curriculum; designing virtual earth camps; and creating a virtual field trip for the Penobscot Nation Water Quality Dept. He also serves as a McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellow at the University where he is currently leading a Community Based Participatory research project that centers Wabanaki voices, writing, and stories in order to help create a better implementation of the Wabanaki Studies Law (LD 291).
Nolan is an advocate, avid reader, writer, photographer, and has experience in graphic design. He has worked with Wabanaki and Maine organizations and non-profits, lending his expertise and perspective to Sunlight Media Collective, Racial Equity and Justice, the Young People’s Caucus of Maine, and the Maine’s Children’s’ Cabinet.