The Coastal Packet: Right wing Maine governor and native tribes in conflict

Wednesday, May 27

Right wing Maine governor and native tribes in conflict

Press Herald - The Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes withdrew their representatives to the Maine Legislature on Tuesday in the latest sign of a growing rift in the historically troubled relationship between the sovereign tribes and the state. Related Headlines

Rep. Wayne Mitchell of the Penobscot Nation and Rep. Matthew Dana of the Passamaquoddy Tribe walked off the House chamber floor after lamenting what Dana portrayed as state attempts to perpetuate a “guardian-to-ward relationship” with the tribal nations. Tribal leaders assailed policies they say failed to respect the tribes’ sovereignty, denied members sustenance fishing rights and ignored tribal culture.

“Our hope is that one day the state will recognize us for who we are and value the tribes as sovereign partners and engage in a relationship of mutual respect,” Dana said. “Until then, we simply must decide our own future. If history has taught us anything, it certainly is that lesson.”

Gov. Paul LePage’s office responded that the administration is a willing partner, but said “the tribes have had difficulty working together, and they have not been cooperative in working with the state.”

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