Wabanaki Warriors of WWII

We did not ask; they did not tell

June 7, 2023 - 7pm to 8pm

Harald E.L. Prins

Charles Norman Shay

Discover the story of Penobscot Elder Charles Norman Shay of Indian Island Maine. His life story brings to light the mostly ignored or fogotten service and sacrifice made by Native American soldiers and their communities in WWII. D-Day was Private Shay’s baptism by fire as a 19-year-old combat medic.  Struggling ashore at Omaha Beach as part of the first wave of attack in Operation Neptune, he treated and rescued countless comrades and was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry displayed that day. Woven into the narrative are stories representative of other front-line medics and the 500 fellow North American Indians who heroically participated in what is still the largest seaborne invasion in world history.

A native from The Netherlands, Dr. Harald E.L. Prins is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (emeritus) who taught at various universities in the U.S. and Europe. He conducted ethnographic and historical research in numerous countries, including Argentina and Canada, but especially in the Wabanaki homeland. Past President of the Society for Visual Anthropology, he was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution, served as Principal Investigator for Acadia National Park, and was guest curator at the Abbe Museum. His work is grounded in support of Indigenous nations retrieving cultural traditions and seeking recognition of ancestral sovereignty rights. He served as lead expert witness for the Mi’kmaq and Penobscot nations in the US Senate and federal court cases in the US and Canada.

Harald E.L. Prins

This is the first in a series of 8 in the 2023 Summer Lecture Series. This year the lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings. The talk is available in-person at the Bath Freight Shed or via Zoom. The recording will be available here a couple of days later.

If you enjoy our educational programming, please consider making a a donation or becominge a member using the Donate button at the bottom of any page.