Bill seeks to boost tribal-state relationship in Maine
The Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday on a bill that requires state agencies to consult with tribes before making decisions that affect them.

Rep. Donald Soctomah, a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, said the bill will improve the often-rocky relationship between tribes and the state. "It’s always been my view that if we are really partners then we should discuss issues that affect the tribes," Soctomah told the committee, The Bangor Daily News reported.

The bill is modeled after executives orders on tribal consultation that were signed by President Barack Obama and by former President Bill Clinton. Tribal leaders and members who testified at the hearing said the measure would lead to greater cooperation with the state.

Paul Bisulca, a member of the Penobscot Nation, recently said he would no longer serve as chair of the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission because he said the state didn't respect tribal sovereignty.

Get the Story:
Bill would require state to consult tribes first (The Bangor Daily News 1/27)

Related Stories:
Leader of Maine tribal-state commission leaves post (1/22)

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