Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: Penobscot Nation Natural Resources director on the work to protect the health of the Penobscot River Watershed
Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we hear a talk by John Banks, a member of the Penobscot Nation and the Natural Resources Director for the tribe. He has been an active and tireless advocate for environmental sustainability and tribal rights.
b) In his talk, he outlines the Penobscot Nation’s work to protect the health of the Penobscot River Watershed from the impacts of paper mill dioxin, to the work of the Penobscot River Restoration Project to dismantle dams, allowing for the expansion of fish species into original habitats, to legal issues on state vs federal control over pollution permits, with explicit industry pressure, and now the tribes current court case to oppose the 2012 state Attorney General’s opinion that the Penobscot Reservation does not include any of the Penobscot River.
c) John Banks spoke at the University of Maine’s 10th annual Eco-Peace Sustainability Training and International Affiliates Conference on October 25th in Belfast. This years Conference was titled “Reclaiming the Commons : Water Ethics and Nature Rights in Maine”. We spoke with organizer Hugh Curran on RadioActive October 10th, 2013.
A) John Banks, Natural Resources Director for the Penobscot Nation; Penobscot tribal member