Truth & Change: Decolonize Behavioral Health Services for Indigenous People

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This workshop, co-lead by Native and non-Native presenters, will explore decolonizing behavioral health service systems to better serve Indigenous people and therefore, their communities. The foundation for this workshop begins with a participatory learning experience about the history of colonization in this territory from first contact between settler and Indigenous people to the present day. Reflections on this activity focuses on the impact of colonization on Indigenous people. We will share frameworks of historical/intergenerational trauma and explore how colonization built the service systems and organizational structures that privilege and benefit white people of European descent resulting in ill-fitting services for Indigenous people. Finally, we will introduce concepts of decolonization and restorative practices for the possibilities that they hold for undoing systemic inequalities and improving services for Indigenous people.


Esther Anne, MSW
Esther joined the Youth and Community Engagement team in 2003 to work with young people in their transition from foster care to adulthood. She now works on projects that engage and benefit tribal communities; read more…

Penthea Burns, MSW
Penthea is a non-Native woman who grew up in Central Maine, has worked at the Muskie School of Public Service since 1999.  read more…


  • 5.5 contact hours for psychologists, social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, continuing health education specialists, corrections and behavioral health professionals. 


Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. 

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