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Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Rally for Tribal Sovereignty and Unity; Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribes Withdraw Reps. from State Legislature

    a) Today we hear from Wabanaki Tribal members at the Rally for Tribal Sovereignty and Unity in Augusta last week, May 26th. On that day, the Penobscot and Passamquoddy Tribes withdrew their representatives from the Maine legislature in the wake of numerous recent state actions to block or diminish tribal efforts to exercise sovereignty.
    b) These issues include fishing rights, the right of Maine tribes to gain the protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) afforded all other tribes in the country, and the state’s attempt to re-define Penobscot Nation territory to exclude the Penobscot River. In April, Governor LePage issued an executive order to rescind cooperation with the Tribes and, at the end of May, announced he would veto a number of bills tribal representatives sponsored this session.
    c) Repeatedly, Maine State government has used the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act as a reason to exempt Wabanaki Tribes from federal protections and to assert power over the Tribes. The Wabanaki Tribes have repeatedly asserted a different interpretation of the Settlement Act, and the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission, set up by the Act to advise, recommend and seek amendment to a law negotiators agreed needed more clarity, has been ignored repeatedly by the state. The Wabankai Tribes are now calling on Congress to review the Settlement Act and the Maine’s interpretation and implementation of it.

    Guests:
    Matt Dana, former Passamquoddy representative to Maine legislature
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
    Chief Billy Nicolas, Passamquoddy, Indian Township
    Vice- Chief Vera Francis, Passamquoddy, Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Chief Fred Moore, Passamquoddy,Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Tribal members: Serge, Passamquoddy/Indian Township; Tara, Micmac; Tim Shay, Penobscot; Charlene, Micmac; Adrian, Micmac, Glen, Micmac.
    Newell Lewey, Passamquoddy tribal council member, Sipayik/Pleasant Point
    Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot Nation, indigenous rights attorney
    John Banks, Penobscot Nation; Maine Indian Tribal State Commission

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Maine Blocks Coverage of Tribes Under Violence Against Women Act (VOWA)

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) When Congress reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VOWA) in 2013, tribes across country were granted the ability to prosecute non-tribal members who have perpetrated domestic or dating violence against tribal members. Though this is a federal law, Maine has yet again used the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to refuse to recognize the participation of the Wabanaki tribes within the state.

    b) Today, Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge of the Penobscot Nation Court argues the tribes meet all legal requirements to prosecute under VOWA. He also speaks on the process and goals in the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Court.

    c) On Tuesday, May 12th, at 1pm in Room 436, the legislature’s judiciary committee will hold a public hearing on LD 268, a bill that would recognize the Penobscot and Passamquoddy Tribes ability to prosecute under the Violence Against Women Act.

    legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0186&item=1&snum=127

    (An Act regarding the Penobscot Nation’s and Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Authority to Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 – Sponsored by Wayne Mitchell/Penobscot representative).

    Also being heard by committee on May 12th: LD1094: An Act to Improve Tribal-State Relations (Rep. Matt Dana/Passamaquoddy)

    LD893: Resolution, proposing an amendment to article X of the Constitution of Maine Regarding the Publication of Maine Indian Treaty Obligations (Rep. Henry Bear/ Maliseet)

    LD267: An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Rep. Wayne Mitchell/ Penobscot).

    Guest: Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge, Penobscot Nation Court

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic:Maine’s legislature works to relax mining standards

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak with two citizen activists on current legislative proceedings aimed at relaxing state environmental standards to allow metallic mining in Maine.
    b) This week the Maine legislature’s joint committee on Environment and Natural Resources has been in work sessions, reconfiguring a new bill based closely on rule changes proposed by JD Irving, the company seeking to mine Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. In this session, the ENR Committee has reviewed mining bills LD 146 and LD 750. The current bill retains the number LD 750, but no longer contains the stringent environmental and financial stipulations of it’s original sponsor, Rep. Ralph Chapman.
    c) A public hearing on the new LD 750 will be held on May 11th, 9:00 am at the Augusta State House Cross Building, Room 216.

    Guests:
    Lew Kingsbury, environmental activist
    Dennis Chinoy, activist, volunteer Power In Community Alliances (PICA)

    www.pica.ws
    www.maineminingwatch.org
    www.nrcm.org
    bangordailynews.com/2015/02/22/opinion/contributors/mining-is-on-augustas-agenda-public-hearing-reality-tv-or-charades/

    1 Comment
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Chief Francis responds to Governor LePage’s Reversal of Order Promoting Cooperation with Tribes

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we speak again with Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis.This weekend, Governor Lepage’s office sent an email to Wabanaki Tribal leaders announcing a new executive order, signed April 16th, that rescinds the Governor’s 2011 order promoting cooperation and coordination between the Stat and the Wabanaki Tribes within Maine. (copy of executive order: www.pressherald.com/2015/04/21/lepage-rescinds-order-promoting-state-cooperation-with-indian-tribes/document/2/).
    b) Despite the original executive order, which included directing state agencies to reach out to the Tribes on issues effecting them, Chief Francis outlines numerous instances, during the LePage administration, in which they have not felt state cooperation. This includes elver fishing and tribal saltwater fisheries rights, protective water quality standards in sustenance fishing waters, fishing monitoring jurisdiction in sustenance fishing waters in the Penobscot River, and rights under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VOWA).
    c) We also speak with the Peace and justice Center of Eastern Maine about their 21st annual Hope Festival, taking place this Saturday in Orono.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Amy Hughes, Peace and justice Center of Eastern Maine, peacectr.org/wp/hope_2015/schedule-of-events/

    www.pressherald.com/2015/04/21/lepage-rescinds-order-promoting-state-cooperation-with-indian-tribes/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Generation Climate Rising Rally in Augusta

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This past Saturday, April 11th, Maine Students for Climate Justice held a rally and march in Augusta, calling it Generation Climate Rising. Students from colleges, universities and high schools from across state, and supporters, called on Governor LePage to put a freeze on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and to support measures to bring more solar and conservation to the state.
    b) Speakers and participants spoke on climate justice, the need for Maine’s government to take climate change seriously, the already changing environment and the need for immediate action.
    c) This year’s Maine Youth Activism Gathering will be held Saturday April 18th -Monday April 20th, three days of workshops and community building.
    maineyag.wordpress.com/
    www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Youth-Activism-Gathering/199809673382110

    Guests:
    A) Organizers with Maine Students for Climate Justice : Meaghan LaSala (USM), Maddie Lamal-Brown (Bowdoin), Matthew Miles Goodrich (Bowdoin), Iris SanGiovanni (USM), Catherine Fletcher (UMO), Michelle Fournier (350 Maine)
    mainestudentjustice.wix.com/mainestudents#!about_us/c14e3
    www.facebook.com/MaineClimateJustice
    www.centralmaine.com/2015/04/09/generation-climate-rising-demonstration-in-augusta/
    B) student participants from universities, colleges and high schools across the state
    C) Christine, Pine Tree Youth Organizing, ptyo.org/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Generation Climate Rising, with Maine Students for Climate Justice

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Maine Students for Climate Justice is organizing the Generation Climate Justice rally on April 11th, at 11am at the State Capitol in Augusta.
    www.facebook.com/events/815393905193392/

    b) We talk with two students from Maine Students for Climate Justice about the divestment movement in Maine, climate justice, democratizing energy through community based initiatives and the need for action.

    c) We also talk about the upcoming April 6th rally for Unity, and the pre-rally in support of the Penobscot Nation is their legal battle for jurisdiction over sustenance fishing waters.

    Guests:
    A) Laura Berry, student at College of the Atlantic, Maine Students for Climate Justice
    B) Meaghan LaSala, graduate student at University of Southern Maine, Maine Students for Climate Justice
    www.facebook.com/events/815393905193392/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Orono Council Committee Votes to Withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) On March 16th, the Orono Town Council’s Community Development Committee, which contains all members of the council, voted unanimously to instruct the town manager to draw up an order to formally withdraw Orono from Penobscot Nation v Mills. This case concerns the
    Penobscot Nation’s jurisdiction to monitor their sustenance fishing waters, a status without issue until August 8th, 2012, when then Attorney General Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.” The Penobscot Nation is now suing the state in Federal Curt

    b) The state of Maine’s attorney, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, joined a consortium of 18 towns and corporations to the case, as intervenors for the state. These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities would not be effected if it were.

    c) A movement opposing Orono’s involvement developed when town residents were surprised to discover Orono’s involvement. Inquires showed none of Orono’s town councilors knew of the town’s involvement either.

    Today we listen to both councilors and the public at the Orono Town Council’s public meeting on March 16th.

    We also hear reactions from Orono organizer and resident Cheryl Robertson.

    *Note: On April 1st Orono formerly files to withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills.

    Guests:

    A) Orono Town Council members (Mark Haggerty,Geoffrey Gordon, Tom Perry, Tom Sptiz, Sam Kunz) and Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson

    B) public testimony : Claudia Lawd, Eric Maynard,Maria Girouard, Kathy Pollard, Nancy Prisk, John Banks

    C) Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz

    D)Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills, with Chief Francis and Local Organizing to Withdraw Orono from the Case

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Despite years of cooperation and co-management with the state, and explicit direction from past administrations that the Penobscot Nation does have jurisdiction when it comes to monitoring their sustenance fishing waters, in 2012, the state began action to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from tribal control. On August 8th, 2012, the Attorney General William Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.”
    b) In response, the Penobscot Nation is suing the Attorney General’s Office (now occupied by Janet Mills) in federal court, in Penobscot Nation v Mills, et al. The attorney representing the state, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, has gone on the public relations offensive, and has additionally signed 18 towns and corporations to the case as intervenors for the state.
    c) These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities are down stream from the Penobscot Nation. One of these towns is Orono. We hear from Orono resident Cheryl Robertson about efforts there to withdraw the town from the lawsuit.

    The Orono Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue at 5:30pm on Monday, March 16th.

    Guests:
    Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
    Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

    1 Comment