Archives for Penobscot Nation

RadioActive 4/4/19

Penobscot Nation and Other Affected Communities Speak Out at Public Hearing on Solid Waste Reform Bill

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we follow up on reforms afoot for solid waste policy in Maine, as affected communities, including the Penobscot Nation, policy makers and the Department of Environmental Protection look to address long standing problems. Yesterday, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources heard public testimony on three waste bills, including LD 401, “An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling”, (

LD 401 would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways, including Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate deposited into the Penobscot River. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris used as landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities.

Today we hear some of the testimony from those present, including representatives of the Penobscot Nation. And we speak with Hillary Lister, longtime waste organizer and co-author of LD 401, on how things are developing, as the Department seeks to incorporate elements of LD 401 into a bill that also go before the ENR Committee soon.


Rep. Ryan Tipping, sponsor of LD 401, District 123, Orono
John Banks, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Penobscot Nation
Mauilian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Project Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Hillary Lister, solid waste activist
Dawn Neptune Adams, environmental activist, member of Penobscot Nation
Heather Linnet Whittier
Rep. Lori Gramlich, District 13

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective, including Dawn Neptune Adams, Andrea DeFrancesco and Josh Woodbury. Audio recording by Josh Woodbury.

RadioActive 1/10/19

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Penobscot Tribe Response to Department of Environmental Protection Appointment

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we hear from the Penobscot Nation Chief, Ambassador and other community leaders on Governor Mills’ recent nomination of Assistant Attorney General Jerry Reid to head the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
b) In his position in the Attorney General’s Office, he was lead counsel in the still ongoing cases Penobscot Nation v. Attorney General Janet Mills and the State’s lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s order to increase water quality standards in tribal sustenance fishing waters.
c) The Legislative Environmental and Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold a public hearing on Reid’s nomination sometime this month.

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective. Josh Woodbury and Chek Wingo of Sunlight Media Collective provided field audio. Video, transcripts and updates will be posted at

Maria Girouard, Penobscot, historian, activist, co-founder of Dawnland Environmental Defense
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
Sherri Mitchell, attorney, author, activist

For more information on confirmation hearing:
Joint Legislative Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Community Water Justice:

RadioActive 8/2/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips Speaks on the Penobscot River

Today, Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips speaks about his experiences on the Penobscot River, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s impacts on sea run fish and tribal culture, the spiritual Katahdin 100 and the Penobscot Nation’s current legal struggle to have their relationship with the Penobscot River continue to be recognized by the State of Maine.

Butch Phillips served as the Penobscot Nation’s Lieutenant Governor from 1983-84, was a negotiator for the Penobscot Nation during the creation of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, chaired the Tribes’ Fish and Game Committee for 15 years and was a tribal cultural ambassador for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

The Sunlight Media Collective sat down with Butch Phillips in his home for the Collective’s film project, The River Is Our Relative. He is interviewed by Dawn Neptune Adams, Joanna Weaver and Meredith DeFrancesco.

Joanna Weaver recorded audio. This program is a joint production with the Sunlight Media Collective.

Guest: Reuben “Butch” Phillips, Penobscot Nation Elder

Wabanaki Windows 5/15/18

Producer/Host: Donna Loring
Engineer: Amy Browne

Handling of Penobscot Cultural Materials: Historic signing of MOU between UMO & Penobscot Nation

-Background of the signing of the MOU
-Areas of Clarification and agreement
-Standard practices agreed upon
-Recognition and Respect for Penobscot Culture

Ambassador Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation
Dr. Darren Ranco Wabanaki and George Mitchell Center
Dr. Jane Anderson New York University

Maine Currents 5/3/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Maine Gubernatorial Candidates Forum Hosted by Penobscot Nation

Recorded on Indian Island on April 25th, 2018. All 7 of the Democrats who are running attended. Republican Mary Mayhew declined. Some of the other invited candidates cited other obligations. Penobscot Ambassador Maulian Dana reports that Republicans Shawn Moody and Ken Fredette, and Independent Terry Hayes did not respond to the invitation. The 7 candidates who did attend answered questions on a range of issues for more than 2 hours. Today we’re bringing you the first hour of the forum. We’ve also archived the full event along with today’s show so you can hear the rest. Dr. Darren Ranco was the facilitator.

NOTE: Below you will find links to today’s show and to the full unedited forum. If listening to the full forum please note that there are some audio quality issues in the 1st 20 minutes (low volume which we are unable to boost due to a blower in the background. The audio improves drastically at about the 20 minute mark.

Listen to the award-winning Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture with host Amy Browne- on the first Thursday of each month, 10-11a.m. on WERU-FM or via our live stream at

Maine Currents 8/29/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Bangor City Council votes to recognize Indigenous People’s Day and approves a proposal “Urging the United States Congress to enact a Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax and Dividend”

We take you to last night’s meeting of the Bangor City Council to listen in on the testimony from tribal council member Maulian Dana Smith, Chief Kirk Francis and others, and the council’s discussion and vote on these two issues. On today’s program you’ll also hear Maulian Dana Smith’s testimony in support of Indigenous People’s Day at Bangor’s Government Operations Committee Meeting earlier in the month, and some background on the Carbon Dividend issue from a 2015 edition of this program.

Special thanks to the folks at Some of the audio in today’s program was recorded by them and used with their permission.

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and

Maine Currents 7/18/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing producers: Meredith DeFrancesco, Matt Murphy

Segment 1: Penobscot Nation member and indigenous rights attorney Sherri Mitchell speaking at the Penobscot River Sovereignty Rally held on the Bangor waterfront on July 9th in response to the recent court decision against the tribe- produced by Meredith DeFrancesco

Segment 2: Matt Murphy interviews former Senator George Mitchell about ways to apply what he has learned in his years as a diplomat to present day politics

Segment 3: Matt Murphy interviews performance artist Judith Sloan about her latest project. FMI:

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and

RadioActive 6/15/17

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla

1) Today we hear some audio from Saturday’s Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla on the Bangor Waterfront, where people gathered to support the Penobscot Tribe’s struggle for continued stewardship of the River, and other local and statewide struggles for clean water and clean energy.
2) Over 30 organizations co-sponsored the event, which showed support for the Penobscot Nation’s efforts to retain sovereignty and stewardship on the section of the river passing through their island territory. In 2012, the Maine Attorney General’s office sought to establish that section as State territory. The Tribe has sued the State in an on going legal case: Penobscot Nation v Attorney General Janet Mills.
3) Speakers broadcast in this program address the Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion in Old Town and the dumping of toxic leachate into the Penobscot River and on state bills and policies that could support or paralyze the development of solar energy in Maine.

Ed Spencer, Old Town resident, logger and intervenor in Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion process
Dawn Neptune Adams, Penobscot tribal member and activist
Fred Greenhalgh, ReVision Energy and solar activist
Jim Freeman, Flotilla organizer, Alliance for the Common Good,

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.