We are writing today with a concern for treating the Indigenous people of Maine with justice and respect and to urge Maine Legislators to support LD 1626. Due to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, the Wabanaki tribes in Maine have more restrictions on their rights than the other 570 federally recognized tribes in the country. The act says that any law passed by Congress for the benefit of Indigenous tribes after 1980 does not apply in Maine. As a result, the Wabanaki have lost opportunities to create economic growth and to improve the health and welfare of their members and the surrounding communities. They have not received the benefit of more than 150 laws ranging from protecting the environment and drinking water to protecting Wabanaki women from violence.
LD 1626 would address many of these longstanding issues and place the Wabanaki on equal footing with tribes in the other 49 states. The tribes of Maine have been good stewards of this land and natural resources for a millennium. Now is the moment, as we are ever-more aware of our responsibility to address climate change and protect our air, water and forests, to restore the right relationship with the land and with the Indigenous people of Maine. We urge the Maine House and Senate to vote yes on LD 1626.
Mary Booher, Clerk
Carole Beal, Recorder
Acadia Friends (Quaker) Meeting