INDIAN ISLAND — Maine officials are apologizing to the Penobscot Nation for surprise bus inspections conducted by state police on tribal land.

Tribal officials said the reservation’s sovereignty was violated when Maine State Police without notice boarded nine buses taking people to high-stakes bingo games two weekends ago.

Public Safety Commissioner John Morris, the head of the Maine State Police and other state officials met with tribal officials Tuesday on Indian Island to discuss the matter.

The Bangor Daily News reported that state officials, in a joint statement with the tribe, said they recognize and respect the tribe’s sovereign status and that the bus inspections didn’t reflect any negative attitude toward the tribe or its bingo operation. The statement said the state and tribe will work together toward a more collaborative relationship.