Maine leaders should support LD 1626 for tribal sovereignty
Now is the time for the Native tribes of Maine. Now is the time for members of the legislative and executive branches of Maine state government. Do they want to be remembered as leaders who finally granted full sovereignty to our Indigenous peoples? Or do they want their names added to the list of those who perpetuated 400 years of genocide, land theft, broken promises, cultural erasure and racial discrimination?
One justification for not supporting LD 1626 is the claim that tribes would take control of lands and settlements away from cities and towns and their non-native citizens. The land in the state of Maine does not belong to these groups. It is owned solely by the original indigenous inhabitants, who have lived here for 12,000 years.
Government leaders should put aside their advocate mindset and recognize the moral imperative to support LD 1626. It’s time to give the tribes of Maine the rights that the other 574 tribes in the United States have. Our leaders should publicly encourage the passage and signing of LD 1626 to right centuries of gross wrongs and create a historic moment of which all citizens of Maine and their descendants can long be proud.