Wicuhkemtultine Land-Based Programs
N’dilnabamuk – honoring all our relations.
Alabezu – ensuring that everyone has enough to live their lives with dignity.
Wicuhkemtuline – helping one another.
In 2020, the LPF purchased a 215-acre farm in traditional Penobscot Territory. This land was taken by the State of Maine and given away in a land grant in 1820. Two hundred years later, it has returned to Penobscot hands. While we were searching for the land, we spoke to several traditional and spiritual elders about the appropriate name for our new home base. After considering the organization’s history and future direction, they decided on the Wičuhkemtultine Kinship Community.
Wičuhkemtultine (pronounced: we juke um tull tena) means “let’s help one another.” It is a philosophy of caring for one another according to traditional Wabanaki kinship principles. It recognizes that we are more resilient and secure when we work together, and that we have greater access to our creative intelligence to solve problems when we have our basic needs met and collaborate and cooperate with one another.
Another key component to our wellness is access to our ceremonial ways of being. Creating space for ceremony was a critical part of developing our land-based campus. We are currently hosting 4-5 ceremonies per year. The land-based programs at Wičuhkemtultine are focused on creating more resiliency for our people through deeper connection to ceremony and traditional ways of knowing and being. We are also facilitating gatherings that are aimed at creating greater cooperation and collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and our non-Indigenous neighbors and allies.
Farming at Wičuhkemtultine
Our farming program is based on our traditional understanding of sovereignty. In our language, the term for sovereignty translates to: That self-ownership includes the inherent right to self-determination. At LPF, we believe that Mother Earth has that same right to exist without bearing the weight of human expectations for productivity. Therefore, our farming program exists under the sovereignty of the land project.
The Sovereignty of the Land project aims to express how caring for the land at Wičuhkemtultine is integral to the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. We approach farming as a kinship practice -a respectful and mutual relationship between humans, land, plants, soil, other animals, water, sky and all life. We utilize agricultural approaches that fall under labels such as organic, no-till, regenerative or permaculture, but our engagement with the land is rooted in a spiritual understanding of our kinship with the land. In this kinship relationship, we respect the inherent sovereignty of the land, with its own right of self-expression and right to experience life to the fullest. The sovereignty of the land, and the food sovereignty that it offers to our communities, is essential to our Indigenous sovereignty as Penobscot and Wabanaki Peoples.
The learning center will also offer courses on:
- Indigenous leadership
- Social, Racial, and Environmental justice
- Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
- Indigenous Ecological Knowledge
- Matriarchy and the Maternal Gift Economy
The Learning Center at Wicuhkemtultine
Our conversion of the old barn into a learning center is about 70% complete. We recently added a new entrance with a solid surface patio and ramp to make the space more accessible. In the last year, we have held four large gatherings and several meetings on the main level. We are now in the process of completing our staff offices on the second floor and adding bathrooms. We will also be adding insulation and heat so that the space can be used year round.
Click here to learn about the infrastructure projects we are planning and how you can support our work.