Archives for tribal sovereignty

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 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:
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.

Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation,
Amy Hughes, Peace and justice Center of Eastern Maine,

RadioActive 10/30/14

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic:
Maria Girouard of the Penobscot Nation gives an overview of the historic conflict over Wabanaki territory and sovereignty between the state and tribes, up to present

Key Discussion Points:
1. Penobscot Nation member Maria Girouard spoke to a class at the Maine Maritime Academy, in Castine, titled “Communities and Conflict.”
2. Girourad spoke on the impacts of historical, or intergenerational, trauma, explicitly how past and unfolding policies of colonization have impacted the Wabanaki tribes present within Maine’s borders.
3. Maria Girouard gives an historical overview of the conflict between the state and the tribes concerning Wabanaki territory, and the state’s continuing position on tribal land, water, fishing rights and sovereignty, including the current case in US District Court, Penobscot Nation vs. State Attorney General Janet Mills, et al

Maria Girouard, member of the Penobscot Nation, environmental activist, community organizer. She is currently the Welness Coordinator for Maien Wbanaki REACH ( ), the organization facilitating the work of the Maine Wabanaki State Chile Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Girouard served as the Penobscot Nation’s director of Cultural and Historic Preservation 2006-2011, and was a member of the Penobscot Tribal Council 2012-to 2014

RadioActive 3/27/14

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Program Topic: Tour to raise federal minimum wage to $10.10; Wabanaki Tribes continuing struggle to maintain sovereignty and fishing rights

Key Discussion Points:
a) We look at the movement to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. A bus tour promoting the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act stopped in Bangor. Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant of Bangor has just raised their minimum wage to $10.10.
b) We speak with Maine Congressional Representative and gubernatorial candidate, Mike Michaud about the minimum wage and the realities for low income Mainers
c) Passamquoddy tribal member, Vera Francis speaks on state opposition to tribal sovereignty and fishing rights,
specifically around the elver fishery. After long negotiations to come to an agreement that involved recognizing that tribal elver regulations were protective of the fishery and allowed tribal autonomy, Maine’s State Attorney General shut down the process in the 11th hour. The Passamquoddy Tribes own management plan puts a limit on total tribal catch, but allows anyone in the tribe to fish. They argue that this management system is more protective then the state’s permit system.

Congressman Mike Michaud
Laura Fortman, US Dept of Labor
Sean Garceau , manager at Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant, Bangor
Rev. Becky Gunn, Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor
Vera Francis, Passamaquoddy tribal member, Passamaquoddy Fisheries Committee