Editor's Desk

Before international borders existed, the community of the St. Croix Valley was a tightly interconnected place. The first inhabitants of the area, the Passamaquoddy and their kin, knew the valley well as a place of connection and exchange. Later, the European settlers that came drew little distinction between whether they were on one side of the river or another. It was, traditionally, one community. As such, this past week marks two historic occasions.

The powerful reaffirmation of both Calais and St. Stephen to continue with the International Festival and its theme of celebrating international cooperation stands as a testament to the friendship between the two municipalities. While the tightening of the border has led to some restrictions over the years, the community spirit of the St. Croix Valley effectively transcends it.

In the case of the Passamaquoddy, Calais was recently the site of a meeting of elders and educators, all sharing their knowledge and ideas on how to enable their language to survive. The workshop took place near where a band of Micmacs, Maliseets and Passamaquoddy chiefs met to express their anger at how they were being treated by the Massachusetts state government in 1784. It has been a long road since that meeting, but the Passamaquoddy tribe has found a way to keep its traditions and its culture intact – this time, with the support of the state.

The community in which we live is filled with many layers of history, and, page by page, we are adding the story of our generations to it.  

Lura Jackson