This is our issue, too. The tribes in the land we call Maine (Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Aroostook Band of Micmacs) deserve the rights, privileges, powers, duties and immunities similar to those of other federally recognized Indian tribes within the United States. I understand that this is not an instance of our state granting their rights but rather restoring their rights.

It has been a long time coming, but the moment is now to restore some of their sovereignty that was taken away by the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. In order for all of us who live on these lands and waters to fight to survive in this changing climate we all need to be aware of the injustices suffered by our indigenious communities in the past and present. Equity and restorative justice must be centered going forward so that we can stand together. It is the right thing to do for ourselves and our state of Maine.

L.D. 2094, An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act, ought to be passed by our Legislature.

We all should stand with the tribes’ needs for the freedom to control their own destinies. When the tribes thrive, Maine will thrive. When the tribes prosper, Maine will prosper.

Amy Eshoo

North Yarmouth

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