Archives for Penobscot Nation

RadioActive 12/17/15

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

Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills : Decision at US District Court

Key Discussion Points:

1) Yesterday, US District Court Judge George Singal ruled that the Penosbcot Nation’s reservation does not include the river waters flowing through it.
2) While Judge Singal affirmed the right of individual tribal members to sustenance fishing in the main stem of the Penosbcot River, he sided with the State of Maine in ruling that the Penobscot flowing through tribal territory is not part of the reservation. He based his decision on the State’s interpretation of the controversial Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act,saying if the Act did not explicitly mention the water as part of the territory, then the water is not included. The Tribe holds if they did not explicitly give up their rights to the waterway in the Settlement Act, they did not give it up.
3) In the landmark case, Penobscot Nation v Maine Attornay General Janet Mills, The Penobscot Nation opposed the Maine Attorney General’s Office 2012 opinion that the Penobscot Indian reservation, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include any portion of the water. The Penobscot Nation has argued this amounts to a territorial taking by the state and erases their inherent, treaty reserved sustenance fishing rights.

In October, Judge Singal heard oral arguments from Penobscot Nation counsel, counsel for the US Dept of Justice, intervening in the case on behalf of the Penobscot Nation, the Attorney General’s Office’s, and Pierce Atwood counsel which is representing a consortium of pollution dischargers intervening on behalf of the state.

Guest: Sherri Mitchell, member of the Penobscot Tribe, indigenous rights attorney

landpeacefoundation.net/

www.facebook.com/dawnlanddefense

www,sunlightmediacollective.org

Wabanaki Windows 10/20/15

Producer/Host: Donna Loring
Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Seven Eagles Media and N”We Jinan Youth Project with David Hodges

Program Topic: Creating Original Songs

Key Discussion Points:
Is there hidden talent in Native Communities ready to be discovered?
How does this enhance the self- image of Native Youth?
Does this opportunity give them an out let for their Talents and hope for the future?

Guests:
David Hodges, Music Educator and Hip Hop Artist from Montreal Quebec
Julian Loring, a Young Adult Rapper and Penobscot Nation Tribal Member

FMI:

www.facebook.com/werufm
www.facebook.com/nwejinan

RadioActive 10/15/15

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

Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills : Reactions to Court Hearing

Key Discussion Points:

1) Yesterday, US District Court Judge George Singal heard oral arguments for Penobscot Nation v Mills in Portland. The Penobscot Nation is opposing the Maine Attorney General’s Office 2012 opinion that the Penobscot Indian reservation, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include any portion of the water. The Penobscot Nation argues this amounts to a territorial taking by the state and erases their inherent, treaty reserved sustenance fishing rights.

2) Judge Singal heard oral arguments from Penobscot Nation counsel, counsel for the US Dept of Justice. which is intervening in the case on behalf of the Penobscot Nation, the Attorney General’s Office’s, and Pierce Atwood counsel which is representing a consortium of pollution dischargers intervening on behalf of the state. Both sides have asked the judge for a summary judgement.

3) We also speak with Hugh Curran about the annual Estia Conference on October 23rd at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. This year the theme is Deep Ecology. Keynotes speakers include Darren Ranco, Maria Girouard and Sherri Mitchell. www.estiamaine.org

Guests:
Kathy Paul, Penobscot
Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot indigenous rights attorney
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
Maria Girouard, Penobscot historian, Dawnland Environmental Defense
Hugh Curran, University of Maine Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Estia Conference organizer

RadioActive 10/1/15

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

Program Topic: Penobscot Nation Chief Francis on Penobscot Nation v Mills and Meeting in DC with President Obama

Key Discussion Points:

1) On October 14th, US District Court in Portland will hear oral arguments for Penobscot Nation v Mills.The Penobscot Nation is opposing the 2012 opinion by the Maine Attorney General’s Office that the Penobscot Indian reservation, which includes more than 200 islands in the Penobscot River, does not include any portion of the water, a decision that the Penobscot Nation argues breaks treaties and amounts to a territorial taking by the state.

2) We speak with Chief Francis about the case, and about the separate legal battle concerning the federal EPA decision that, though Maine has the jurisdiction over water quality standards in tribal waters, under the Clean Water Act, state standards are not high enough to protect sustenance fishing.

3) Last week, Chief Francis met with Congressional Representatives and President Obama on both these issues, among others. The US government is currently a legal intervenor in Penobscot Nation v Mills on behalf of the Penobscot Nation.

Guests: Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation

Wabanaki Windows 9/15/15

Producer/Host: Donna Loring
Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Environmental issues and update on River case

Program Topic: Environment and Wabanaki Struggles for Clean Water
Key Discussion Points:
a) Historic background on Environmental issues vs State
b) Working with Allies
c) Action we can take to educate the public

Guests:
Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation
Maria Girouard, Penobscot Tribal Member and Founder of Dawnland Environmental Defense

Bangor Area Commons 6/4/15

Producer/Editor/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by: John Greenman

In 2012, Maine’s attorney general informed the Penobscot Nation that the state had decided that the Penobscot reservation didn’t actually include any of the water surrounding their islands—that they had no rights to their namesake river—contrary to historic agreements. The tribe responded with a lawsuit asserting their rights, now known as “Penobscot Nation vs Mills”. Since that time, several towns have signed on as intervenors, essentially taking the side of the state against the Penobscot Nation. Orono was among them until town residents learned about what was happening and pressured the town to withdraw. Now the Penobscot Nation is hoping that more towns will do the same if they know more about what is happening and what the stakes are.
On April 30th, Maria Girouard of the Penobscot Nation — a frequent guest on WERU’s “Wabanaki Windows”—was a guest speaker at the Bucksport Town Council meeting. Bucksport is one of the towns along the river that have signed on as intervenors, but it became clear at the meeting that the council was very open to learning more. John Greenman attended and recorded the meeting, and we bring you there today. One more note before we get started, about a name you’ll hear mentioned a few times. Matt Manahan is an attorney for Pierce Atwood, the law firm representing the interveners. He’s also the author of an August 2012 article in the Bangor Daily News in which he said the Penobscot Nation had “endless Federal resources” and warned readers of dire consequences should they win their lawsuit, including: “What does it mean for you if the Penobscots prevail? They will regulate your hunting, trapping and fishing on the river. They will regulate municipal and other discharges into the river and some of its branches and tributaries, even though such discharges are already carefully controlled by the state and federal governments. If you live in a town that borders the river and thought your town ran to the middle of the river in accordance with Maine law — surprise! If you paddle, fish or otherwise use the Penobscot River in any way, you will now confront a new regulator telling you what you can or can’t do and how much it will cost you to do it. And, unlike state regulators, the Penobscots won’t even be obligated to listen to your concerns about the impact of their regulations; you will have no control or influence over those regulations. The Penobscots have even announced they intend to close the river to trapping and require a permit to access the river for any reason, making it their exclusive domain.” Manahan’s article concluded “There’s no question the history of the treatment of Indians in this country includes tragic episodes of overwhelming resources used to renege on commitments previously made. It’s ironic the same scenario is happening again, with roles reversed.” (bangordailynews.com/2014/08/06/opinion/contributors/role-reversal-how-the-penobscot-nation-is-suing-maine-and-has-the-upper-hand/)
As you’ll hear, Maria Giroaurd and others strongly disagree with his portrayal

RadioActive 4/23/15

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/

RadioActive 2/19/15

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: EPA Decision: Maine Water Quality Standards are Not Protective of Tribes; The Environmental Impacts of Metallic Mining as Maine looks to Open the State for Irving Project

Key Discussion Points:

a) On February 2nd, the US EPA issued a decision that the state of Maine’s water quality standards are not stringent enough in tribal waters. Maine has been directed to strengthen these standards in compliance with protection of tribal sustenance fishing rights under the federal Clean Water Act.

b) We speak with Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis on the importance of this decision to the tribe. And we look at the State of Maine’s inflamatory public relations offensive, primarily through Pierce Atwood attorney Matt Manahan, to re-frame the issue as a tribal power grab that will cost dischargers all along the Penobscot River millions of dollars. We also look at the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, and a landmark case currently in the courts, Penobscot Nation v Mills, in which the Penobscot Nation is suing the Maine Attorney General’s office for it’s 2012 attempt to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from it’s tribal territory.

c) We also hear part of a presentation on the environmental destruction caused by metallic mining, given by Nick Bennett, staff scientist for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Maine lawmakers are attempting to rush through previously rejected DEP rules that would open Maine to metallic mining. LD 146, is being hopscotched over the requirement under Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that proposed rule changes must have a public hearing before the DEP, prior to proceeding to the legislature. Proponents of the rule changes say, the MAPA requirements can be worked around. The Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is holding it’s public hearing on LD 146 on February 25th, at 9am at the Augusta State House.

Guests:
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
Nick Bennett, staff scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine www.nrcm.org