Environment | Law

Penobscot Nation sues state to clarify jurisdiction on waters

The Penobscot Nation is suing the state of Maine to clarify jurisdiction over a 55-mile stretch of the Penobscot River.

In court papers, the tribe says it has exercised "exclusive" jurisdiction on the river, The Bangor Daily News reported. An injunction seeks to prevent state authorities from policing the river or citing members for subsistence fishing.

“The nation’s jurisdiction over sustenance fishing by its members in the Penobscot River is an exercise of its inherent sovereign authority, as a matter of federal law, and it remained intact; it has never been surrendered by treaty or by an act of Congress,” the tribe argues, the paper reported.

The state recognizes the tribe's jurisdiction over certain waters but not on the Penobscot.

Get the Story:
Penobscots sue AG over who has authority over river surrounding reservation (The Bangor Daily News 8/23)
Penobscots sue Maine over river jurisdiction (AP 8/22)
Penobscot Indian Nation To Sue State Over Penobscot River (WABI 8/23)

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