Defend Our Health Action is extremely disappointed in state Rep. Edward Crockett’s decision to flip his vote and vote against overriding the governor’s veto on L.D. 2004.

Defend Our Health Action endorsed Rep. Crockett, D- Portland, during the 2022 election. During the endorsement process, he indicated to us that he would support legislation that had similar goals to the tribal sovereignty bill, L.D. 1626, that was presented during the 130th legislative session. The language in L.D. 2004 is similar to language found in L.D. 1626.

Passage of L.D. 2004 would have made it possible for Wabanaki tribes to benefit from many existing and future laws that currently apply to the other 570 federally recognized tribes. Because the bill did not pass, tribes in Maine will not have rights under federal Indian policy, which has supported self-determination through tribal self-government for more than 40 years in the U.S. A 2022 report showed that self-determination and governance of tribal communities not only positively impacts tribal communities, but also positively impacts non-tribal communities economically.

Rep. Crockett’s choice to support the veto and stick to the status quo sets a negative precedent, highlighting the inequities that exist for tribes here in Maine. While we appreciate Rep. Crockett’s support of our work, tribal self-determination is a priority for Defend Our Health Action. We will take this vote into consideration when contemplating future endorsements.

Kate Manahan
board chair, Defend Our Health Action

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