The rights of the tribes in Maine can seem of minor concern amid today’s urgencies. Why should we care about L.D. 1626 when we’re dealing with supply chain disruptions, on top of COVID-19 disruptions, on top of climate change disruptions?

Because we could learn a lot from Maine tribes.

Obviously, Maine tribes have dealt with much worse than mask mandates, empty store shelves and freakish weather. Try dealing with the spread of disease without vaccines. Or an incursion of immigrants while being massively outmatched in firepower.

More extreme disruptions may be in our future. Crop failures, an influx of climate refugees and a financial crackup are not far-fetched. How will we manage? Will we survive? We could learn from the Wabanaki. How do they maintain their families, communities and culture through centuries of genocide?

Learning begins with mutual respect and trust. L.D. 1626 is nothing more than showing respect.

Gail Burnett

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