Important Hearings for Wabanaki Tribal Rights: LD 1626, LD 906, LD 585, LD 1907
On Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, at 9AM a public hearing will be held for LD 1626: An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act.
After years of controversial implementation of the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, LD 1626 seeks to restore the inherent right of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians to self-govern within their respective territories in accordance with the same federal laws that generally govern tribal lands elsewhere in the United States. LD 1626 would enact the 22 recommendations issued by a task force established by the Maine Legislature to address long-standing issues with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) and the state law that accompanied it, the Maine Implementing Act. The Task Force was made up of bipartisan legislative representatives, the Tribal Chiefs of the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy at Sipayik and Motahkomikuk, the Houlton Band of the Maliseets, and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, and ex-offico representation from the State Attorney General’s and Governor’s Offices and the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC). You can learn more about LD 1626 on the Wabanaki Alliance Page, or from Passamaquoddy attorney Corey Hinton here, and more about the original 1980 Acts here.
|Register to testify in support of the Tribes and LD 1626 at the button above. |
Then choose: Public Hearing
Then committee: Judiciary
Then date: February 15 9 a.m.
Then choose bill: LD 1626 Sign up to testify by a half hour prior to the hearing. You will be emailed a Zoom link. **Note: Oral testimony has a 3 minute limit. Written testimony has no length limit. If you give only oral testimony, it will not be entered into the public record, but a write up of your testimony can be submitted online after the hearing. At the hearing, sponsors will speak first, followed by the Chiefs and other Tribal leaders. After that, precedence will be given to Elders and Tribal members. Names can be sent to [email protected], and we will pass on to the hearing moderator to arrange. After that, testimonies will be taken alphabetically by first name. Two hours will be heard from those supporting the bill, and the second two hours by those opposed, followed by two hours supporting, and so forth. If you only wish to watch the hearing, you can view the Judiciary Committee’s YouTube Channel.
|On Thursday, February 17th at 9AM there will be a public hearing on LD 906: An Act To Provide Passamaquoddy Tribal Members Access to Clean Drinking Water.|
This act seeks to address the drinking water crisis that the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik has been facing for decades – including boil-water advisories and unsafe levels of trihalomethanes in their tap water which increase cancer risk and liver and kidney problems. The reservation community has to buy bottled water or drive 10 miles to a church in Robbinston to fill jugs for cooking, drinking, and everyday water uses. You can learn more about the issue here and here.
Register here to give testimony in support of the Tribes and LD 906. Then choose: Public Hearing Then committee: Judiciary Then date: February 17 9 a.m. Then choose bill: LD 906 Sign up to testify by 30 minutes prior to the hearing. You will be emailed a Zoom link. Public hearings will also be held on February 17th for: LD 585 An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and PassamaquoddyTribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 LD 1907 An Act To Review State Lands and Waterways That Have Sacred, Traditional or Other Significance to the Wabanaki Tribes. Work Sessions will follow in days after the hearings, and committees are to report out Bills by March 11th.