Maine tribes assert sovereign status in state
Maine tribes are continuing their efforts to assert their sovereign status in a state that they say doesn't respect their rights.

The Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac tribes signed land claim settlements that ceded some authority to the state. As a result, they have been blocked from engaging in gaming, regulating water quality and asserting other rights.

The tribes have been trying to work with the to make changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980. But they say the state has ignored them and now they want the Interior Department to get involved.

"The tribes obviously can’t change anything through the legislative process because we don’t have a vote in Augusta," Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis told The Bangor Daily News. "We have to rely on the state of Maine to make those changes. We just don’t think there’s any appetite to deal with it."

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Tribes seek help from Feds (The Bangor Daily News 5/21)