Federal Recognition

MPBN: Maliseet group in Maine looking to gain federal status





"Even a quick look at the store fronts might tell you something.

"As gkisedtanamoogk and I were coming into town, we saw Indian Hill trading Post, and then we saw the Indian Store and we both looked at each other and said, 'Where are the Indians?'" says David Slagger, outgoing tribal representative for the Houlton Band of Maliseets.

He and gkisedtanamoogk (pronounced giss-ah-KAHN-a-mook), an adjunct instructor of Native American Studies at the University of Maine, have come to Greenville in search of history. And they're hoping that what they find will support a petition for official Maliseet recognition in the Moosehead Lake region.

Maine already has four tribes, living in five groups. "I think where it's a departure is that this would be a culturally-based effort," gkisedtanamoogk says.

Specifically, the new band wants to reject the Western-style chief and council form of governance that was adopted by the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and reestablish a matriarchal system where the women in the tribe have ultimate veto power. Both Slagger and gkisedtanamook say all of Maine's other tribes have been forced to lose this system that was once part of their native tradition."

Get the Story:
Group of Maliseets in Maine Seeks Federal Recognition (MPBN 9/20)