Maine is unique in many ways, and its quirkiness is often what makes it such a wonderful state to live in. However, Maine stands out for one reason that we should not be proud of: Unlike other states, Maine does not fully recognize tribal sovereignty.

This year, the Maine Legislature has an important opportunity to right this wrong by taking up a comprehensive bill (L.D. 1626) to restore tribal sovereignty. At its core, this is a question of fairness and equity.

The Wabanaki tribes are not seeking special treatment, but simply the same rights as other federally recognized tribes. Moreover, tribal sovereignty is a rising tide that can lift all boats; when tribes thrive, so do surrounding communities. In this way, improved tribal-state relations in Maine will foster economic, environmental and cultural benefits for all Mainers.

I stand with the Wabanaki tribes in support of full tribal sovereignty, and I urge Maine legislators to do the same by taking up and passing this crucial bill.

Meaghan Daly

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