Gov. Mills and Sen. Angus King are wrong in opposing Rep. Jared Golden’s bill, which would have, among its effects, restoration to the Penobscot Nation of some control over their historic fishing grounds in the Penobscot River.

Sure, it will change the terms of the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. But that alone isn’t reason to oppose taking remedial action now. We’re not talking about a settlement between two parties with comparable bargaining power. Given that nobody likes to give up what they have (we descendants of white people who drove Indigenous Americans from their land), the settlement was the best that could be obtained in 1980.

But we don’t have to admit that the settlement could have been fairer in order to support Rep. Golden’s bill. Just see that it helps restore traditional community self-sufficiency to the Penobscot Nation and helps acknowledge their restorative use of natural resources as an example to us all as we struggle to reduce the consumption that is causing the overheating of our planet.

Robert Stevens

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