Wabanaki Alliance rallies for sovereignty

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Youth Action Leaders voiced their concerns about the ongoing battle for Tribal Sovereignty and rights of the Wabanaki Nation outside the Cross Insurance Center at Saturday’s Maine Democratic Convention.

LD 1626, which would have granted sovereignty to the Wabanaki Tribes, didn’t reach Governor Mills’ desk.

The group says that “democratic leaders did not respect the tribes nor represent future generations when making this decision.”

The Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 treats tribes like municipalities subject to state law.

Advocates rallied today in the push for full sovereignty.

”We’re here to make sure that that remains a part of the Democratic party platform and moving forward that leadership is accountable to the promises they made to the people and to the Wabanaki tribes,” said Luke Sekera-Flanders of Maine Environmental Education Association.

“It’s really important to highlight the power of youth right now, and we as a collective are coming together trying to find ways to mitigate the climate crisis, and acknowledge that tribal sovereignty is a big part of that,” said Deb Paredes-Martinez of of Maine Environmental Education Association.

Gov. Mills recently signed legislation giving tribes control of sports betting in Maine and allowing the Passamaquoddy Tribe to regulate its drinking water - actions the group called “important steps toward justice for the Tribes,” but not replacements for Sovereignty.

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