Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
This session Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee continues to consider legislation that would address some of the longstanding detrimental impacts of the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act on the Wabanaki Tribes, and recognize their status as equal to the other 570 federally recognized Tribes.
The bill includes 22 recommendations developed by a Task Force convened in 2019, made up of bipartisan legislative representatives, the Tribal Chiefs of the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy at Sipayik and Motahkomikuk, the Houlton Band of the Maliseets, and the Mi’kmaq Nation, and ex offcio representation from the State Attorney General’s, Governor’s Offices and the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission(MITSC). The recommendations include changes to policy regarding trust land acquisition, use of land and natural resources, hunting and fishing, taxation, criminal jurisdiction, civil jurisdiction, and the applicability of federal laws to the Tribes within Maine. Currently, the Wabanaki Tribes are exempt from federal laws passed effecting other federally recognized Tribes, unless the law explicitly includes them, an action the State of Maine has often subverted. Recent examples include the Violence Against Women Act, the Indian Health Improvement Act, the Stafford Act, regarding federal disaster funds.
Today we hear from a presentation last spring given by Penobscot Ambassador Maulian Dana and Passamaquoddy Tribal member and attorney Corey Hinton, hosted by the Maine Conservation Voters.
And then we hear an interview also from the spring, with Passamaquoddy Chief Maggie Dana of Sipayik and Passamaquoddy Representative to the Maine legislature, Rena Newell following the decision to postpone the consideration of LD 1626 to this legislative session.
Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
Corey Hinton, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Attorney
Rena Newell, Passamaquoddy Tribal Representative to Maine Legislature
Chief Maggie Dana, Passamaquoddy at Sipayik
Today’s program was co-produced by WERU FM/RadioActive and Sunlight Media Collective, including Mali Obamsawin, Lokotah Sanborn, Dawn Neptune Adams, Maria Giroaurd, Andrea DeFrancesco, Nickie Sekera and Meredith DeFrancesco.
Sunlight Media Collective, documents and presents issues affecting Indigenous people from Wabanaki perspectives, highlighting the intersection between environmental justice and Tribal sovereignty.