Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer, Portland Press Herald
Traditions and trials have been a part of Indian life in Maine for as long as members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, like this elder at Indian Township, can remember. Their ancestors found sustenance in this corner of the world for at least 13,000 years, adapting as eastern Maine turned from tundra to forest. They hunted and fished on land that shaped their lives, right up until outsiders came and took much of it away.

Unsettled: Triumph and Tragedy in Maine’s Indian Country

Colin Woodard

For readers who thought of the mid-1960s civil rights struggle as taking place in the American South, the opening chapters of a 29-part series now being published by the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram may come as a shock.

“Unsettled” tells the epic and shocking story of Maine’s Passamaquoddy people over the past 50 years, starting with a horrifying slaying and state-sponsored conspiracies, continuing with a remarkable struggle that changed U.S. Indian law forever, and the tragic formation of an internal legal vacuum. The series has shaken Mainers understanding of their history, their state’s relationship with its aboriginal peoples, and tribal-state struggles today.

More than a year in the making, it has been running every day, page one, in Maine’s largest newspaper, and concludes July 27.

Read up to Chapter 12 here.

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