When it became a state in 1820, Maine assumed all the duties and obligations Massachusetts historically had regarding the “Indians within said District of Maine,” including treaty obligations to Wabanaki people within its borders. Although the record of this arrangement between the two states was part of the Maine Constitution when it was originally adopted, an amendment in 1876 prevented those sections from being printed in copies of the constitution.

To honor Maine’s shared history with the Wabanaki, we should restore these treaty obligations to printed copies of the constitution. The fact that the original obligations were hidden sends a message to the tribal nations that the agreements and relationships between the state and our tribal governments are not important or worthwhile.

A “yes” vote on Question 6 in November would restore this section of the Maine Constitution to printed copies. It is critical to a fair and free democracy that our constitution be printed in its entirety. Excluding parts of the constitution is against the entire premise of a transparent government.

Please vote “yes” on Question 6 to ensure that people understand the history, commitments and obligations governments made to the Wabanaki tribes and people are essential for a healthy relationship between the Wabanaki and the state of Maine.

Wayne Cobb