Last week, Governor Mills vetoed the Wabanaki Tribal Sovereignty bill. This veto can be overridden if two-thirds of the Maine State Legislature votes for the override.
Why is this legislation so important? A 2022 Harvard study found, “Unique to Maine, the federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 (MICSA) empowers the state government to block the applicability of federal Indian policy in Maine. As a result, the development of the Wabanaki Nations’ economies and governmental capacities have been stunted. Today, all four of the tribes in Maine — Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot — are stark economic underperformers relative to the other tribes in the lower 48 states.”.
Granting tribal sovereignty to the Wabanaki people remains a priority for Preble Street; please reach out to your Representative and Senator to ask them to override the veto. Get their contact info here.
For more information about why this bill is important, visit the Wabanaki Alliance website.