I am a Portland resident. I know that most of those who represent Greater Portland in Augusta lean in favor of LD 1626.

This is the bill to restore self-determination to the Tribes in Maine, who lost major aspects of their sovereignty due to the 1980 Settlement Act. The Tribes in Maine want to be treated like the other 570 federally recognized Tribes within U.S. boundaries, and LD 1626 can move us strongly in that direction.

While I appreciate the support of LD 1626 by most legislators from our portion of the state, I realize that lawmakers from elsewhere in Maine have taken a different stance. I say to our local legislators: in addition to supporting LD 1626, please spread the word to your colleagues about why their support makes sense, not just for our Wabanaki neighbors, but for all citizens of Maine.

The Tribes simply want the right to determine their communities’ futures, and the state of Maine should not obstruct them. Tribal sovereignty will benefit all of us.

Wayne Cobb

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