Congratulations to Governor-elect Janet Mills. Now, may her supporters, and your reporters, hold her accountable.

Will she heal the wounds her policies as attorney general have inflicted on the Wabanaki tribes within Maine borders?

Specifically, will she reverse:

Her opposition to implementing provisions of the Violence Against Women Act on the reservations?

 Her vigorous pursuit of major court cases that have resulted in further expropriation of the Penobscot River from the nation that bears its name?

 Her eleventh-hour undermining of an elver-fishing agreement between the state and the Passamaquoddy Tribe?

 Her opposition to an amendment to allow publication of the sections of the Maine Constitution that pertain to the state’s historical treaty obligations?

Will she approach state-tribal relations in the way that was intended by the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, and participate in good faith on the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission? Will she reinstate Gov. LePage’s 2011 executive order (that he rescinded in a fit of pique) describing state-tribal relations as “a relationship between equals“?

I am non-Native, and do not claim to represent any tribal interests. My interest is in justice and healing, based on what I know of historical and current events. There are many like me around the state, who share my concerns.

As governor, Mills must convince us she means well, and that she will act accordingly. We are watching closely.

Jeffrey Hotchkiss


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