Heather Denkmire: State tries to take river from Penobscot Nation

A still image from the documentary The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory

Heather Denkmire criticizes the state of Maine for fighting the Penobscot Nation over control of the Penobscot River:
The white people are still breaking treaties and still trying to steal from the Indians.

The state of Maine is — we are — trying to tell the Penobscot Indian Nation that their reservation, which includes more than 200 islands, does not include any part of the water around those islands.

Let me say that again: We are trying to tell the Penobscot people, an ancient culture built on subsistence-level fishing, that their territory does not include the water surrounding their islands.

There is a lawsuit that is getting a lot of attention that’s related to this issue; it is about the Penobscots and the Penobscot River. Gov. Paul LePage is trying to tell the EPA that the state of Maine shouldn’t have to keep the river as clean as the EPA says we should. The racism and ignorance of that situation is dire and disgusting, too. But it’s not that case that gets down to the most critical issues about the Penobscot Indian Nation and the Penobscot River.

We need to tell our elected officials across the state that we don’t want to steal territory from the Indians anymore. Personally, I want to grow closer to the harmonious bliss of the fictional Thanksgiving Day tales of our childhood. We should let our elected officials know that we non-Penobscots don’t want steal the river of the Penobscot people.

Get the Story:
Heather Denkmire: We’re not giving them smallpox blankets, but we’re taking Penobscots’ river (The Bangor Daily News 9/30)

Also Today:
Penobscot Nation chief meets with Obama (The Bangor Daily News 9/19)

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