Youth from the Penobscot Nation introduced their newly formed Council to their families and tribal members in a festive dinner and celebration this week.

The youth will be calling for their community to rally behind them as they rejuvenate traditional Penobscot values of compassion, generosity and cooperation.

Member Irving Sapiel, 13, is looking forward to the Council resulting in “less negativity in the community” and “kids having more self-confidence”.

The primary focus of the Teen Council is to create a Kindness Campaign with the goal of ending all forms of violence at Indian Island School. Peacekeepers, youth who receive training in mediation, will model and teach their peers how to respectfully resolve conflicts.

“Bullying is a normal part of everyone’s life. I’d like to see an end to it. No one deserves to be bullied” said Sapiel.

Another important part of the Kindness Campaign is community service. The Teen Council is already providing assistance to elders, helping with household chores, yard work and providing companionship. They also have begun to lay the foundation for a Terracycling program at their school, where previously non-recyclable waste is collected and then upcycled into new products.

The Teen Council is raising money to attend the Youth Leadership Summit hosted by the Maine Youth Action Network in October in Augusta. They will be developing their grant writing skills by applying for local grants, and will complete service projects for a small fee.

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