Duane Champagne: Maine tribes send leaders to Legislature

"From time immemorial, most Indian nations have exchanged visits between knowledgeable tribal members and leaders. The purpose of these exchanges was to assist each nation in establishing and maintaining peaceful relations between the nations. In contemporary international affairs such exchanges are called embassies, or diplomatic exchanges.

When the early European colonies were established on the East Coast, each colony was independent and maintained its own Indian policy and relations with Indian tribes. Massachusetts Bay Colony was established about 1630. Massachusetts eventually claimed larger territory than its current state boundaries, and included much of the present-state of Maine. Some Indian tribes in then-northern Massachusetts sent representatives to Boston to help manage trade, military, and political relations.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Maine tribes provided military support to the Americans. Since the Maine Indian Nations, such as the Passamaquoddy and Penobscots, provided invaluable military aid, Massachusetts continued to accept tribal representatives who advised the state on issues of mutual interest and concern."

Get the Story:
Duane Champagne: From Tribal Representatives to State Legislatures (Indian Country Today 1/25)

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