Penobscot Nation, UMaine sign MOU for tribe's cultural heritage

ORONO, Maine (WABI) - After a decade of focused collaboration, officials from the University of Maine and the Penobscot Nation took a major step forward Thursday afternoon.

They signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the work they've done to manage the tribe's cultural heritage.

The event was held in the Hudson Museum, where several Penobscot artifacts were on display.

It's a pact that aims to ensure the past, present, and future of the tribe is honored.

"I see the MOU as the beginning and it will evolve and involve more people and more aspects of both the university and Penobscot Nation over time, and I think we can look forward to benefiting the communities in the entire state of Maine in years to come," said UMaine President, Susan Hunter.

"I think all the Penobscot Nation has ever been saying and all of its issues in the areas that it faces is it just wants to be an equal player at the table and to be able to discuss important matters," said Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis. "Nothing is more important then the cultural resources of the tribe."

Officials say among the goals of the agreement will be integrating the tribe's perspective into research processes and implementing Penobscot language on signage on campus.