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.
(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