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Maine Governor Affirms and Rejects Tribal Sovereignty in New Executive Order

Gale Courey Toensing
4/20/15

The governor of Maine has rescinded a three year-old executive order that recognized the “special relationship” between the State of Maine and Indian tribes living there. The order created a consultation policy for tribal input before laws, rules and policies affecting them are passed.

Gov. Paul LePage’s new executive order on April 16, “An Order Respecting Joint Sovereignty and Interdependence,” of which ICTMN has obtained a copy, rescinds his August 2011 executive order, “Recognizing the Special Relationship Between the State of Maine and the Sovereign Native American Tribes Located Within the State of Maine.”

The new executive order begins with three “whereas” statements recognizing the sovereignty of the State of Maine and the four Wabanaki Nations—the Passamaquoddy, the Penobscot, the Maliseet and Micmac—and “the relationship between the State of Maine and the individual tribes a relationship of equals, each with its own set of responsibilities.”

The document then takes a 180-degree turn, asserting the state’s dominance over the tribes – in effect, denying the sovereignty that is affirmed in the first statements – and even over tribal lands held in trust by the federal government. “Whereas, all tribe members, Indian nations, and tribes or bands in the State of Maine and any lands or natural resources owned by them or held in trust for them are subject to the laws of the state and to the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the courts of the State to the same extent as any other persons or lands or natural resources therein.”

The final “whereas” statement blames the tribes for failed attempts at collaboration and communication with the state. Efforts by the governor to promote collaboration and communication were ”unproductive because the State of Maine’s interests were not respected in the ongoing relationship between sovereigns,” LePage wrote.

The executive order ends with a statement affirming the state’s sovereign immunity from being sued because of anything in the document.

A full report will follow when more information is available from tribal leaders and the governor’s office.

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bwaikiki's picture
bwaikiki
Submitted by bwaikiki on
It's always been about taking the land. Seems Maine still wants to steal land and ignore Indian rights.

curtj's picture
curtj
Submitted by curtj on
Colonialism .... Trillions spent internationally so balding old men can profit off the lives of American kids who die to fight for stolen corporate profits that only profit the corporate pimps and their political prostitutes, that leaves America with the trillions in bills, terrorist attacks and defunded infrastructure and health and social programs. Domestically, the same political prostitutes are stealing and allowing foreigners to go on Native lands to steal the Natives resources. So called Christians doing the most unchristian things to others!

curtj's picture
curtj
Submitted by curtj on
Colonialism .... Trillions spent internationally so balding old men can profit off the lives of American kids who die to fight for stolen corporate profits that only profit the corporate pimps and their political prostitutes, that leaves America with the trillions in bills, terrorist attacks and defunded infrastructure and health and social programs. Domestically, the same political prostitutes are stealing and allowing foreigners to go on Native lands to steal the Natives resources. So called Christians doing the most unchristian things to others!

curtj's picture
curtj
Submitted by curtj on
Colonialism .... Trillions spent internationally so balding old men can profit off the lives of American kids who die to fight for stolen corporate profits that only profit the corporate pimps and their political prostitutes, that leaves America with the trillions in bills, terrorist attacks and defunded infrastructure and health and social programs. Domestically, the same political prostitutes are stealing and allowing foreigners to go on Native lands to steal the Natives resources. So called Christians doing the most unchristian things to others!

Caroline Cleveland
Caroline Cleveland
Submitted by Caroline Cleveland on
Huhu! Before reading: Here, I'd like to give my opinions, ideas to inspire you. I don't want to force others to do, what i think is right. These ideas are just perspectives, all people can take inspiration or what the need from it. I respect your free will: As I am a halfblood and also half white as half native, i think the real problem lies in the not understanding of each other's culture. I think, native people have a great developement in society structures and heart-understanding, the white people lack exactly that but are better with technical, materialistic knowledge. So I think in understandig each other, it's far better to work together, since we are all human beings - no matter the race. As I often feel two wolves in myself fighting with each other: The red wolf and the white wolf, which are very opposite to each other, but are ultimately powerful when working together. Love and knowledge. No human who needs help should therefore be left alone. So no tribe who needs help should be left alone on its own. My thought on making the native community more independent are: How about trying at least to learn your own ways of growing some crops in a mini-garden. If everyone will remember the old traditional native ways, there is a way to plant your own seeds in your home. If every home does have such a garden, you will be better feed and not starve. You won't need the paper money for your food. For this, it's really important to work not only with your own tribe, but with other tribes together. Or even other cultures, not only native culture. As I know of White people in Germany who are more open minded and try to find a solution to the world hunger, they try to find a better method for living on earth without harming her or misuse and mistreat her – they also try things about recycling. There are also White people which are not fond of racism - especially in Germany their history is placed well in their mind. The Nazi-Time was a great example for them not to be racist anymore. Many people are more tolerant after this (sad) example. So as I think – How can one work with people if one does not even trust a single one of them? I think therefore White people (mostly) AND Native people (for a reason)are both prejudiced. I really wonder how many white human beings should learn about the culture, if one always put him into a stigma he is not. Same with natives. How could natives work together with the white if there are such uneducated, unsocialized, unempathic people with a weak character full of psychological problems they never learnt to deal with in their society, who got the power. I think the main problem is: People who can't live the highest moral principle (just funny, Jesus said it also in the bible, so republican should also act like this „Don't do unto others what you would not have done unto you.“) should not lead people, since the power will control them instead of the opposite. People are, in my opinion, individuals. For me, there are not „The White“„The Yellow“ „The Black“or „The Red“ people. For me, there are only individuals, there are only human beings. I cherrish each culture. Like in the medicine wheel there are different colors, directions – but all are one and working together as a whole. So people in need, also those who don't know that they act in a negative way (meaning self destructive behaviour as well as destructive behaviour towards others), should be taught in a positive and understanding way the opposite way – the positive, kind and helping way. Many people all over the world struggle with the negative way, but also there are people who aim to go the path of light and love, the positive way. As I think, if one lives in materialistic poverty, the best thing one can do is not falling into the idealistic, negativity poverty, to stay happy. Here again – It's better to work as a big family, as working alone on a problem. Not meaning people alone are not able to do anything, they are, each one is special, is a wonderful individual and loved by the Great Spirit. At last, as a proud being of wanting/trying the way of light and love, when i am in harmony within myself, i can be in harmony with others – but if there is a star shining above giving light to the lost, they will find their way to grow stronger, just through the hope of the light. So grow up to be stronger, inspire others, never give up by the Spirit of the Bear, be a humble Warrior of Love and Light. With Love and Light from a world-wanderer between two cultures and some dreamworlds Morning Star

MARINE's picture
MARINE
Submitted by MARINE on
NOW YOU CAN ADD MICH GOP REDCOAT GOV FOR STEALING YOUR LAND CUZ IT APPEARS THIS DON'T MEAN NOTHING CUZ I DON'T SEE ANY OUTRAGE FOR SANDLER YA FOR MICH NO AND ITS NOT OBAMA ITS THE GOP REDCOAT GOV OF MICH LOOK NO FURTHER EXCEPT MAYBE TO THE KOCH BROS OR A CANADA ENERGY IND WHO WILL DESTROY 10TIMES WHAT THEY TAKE. Mich Violates Treaty With Native Tribes, Sells Land 2 Foreign Company http://bluenationreview.com/michigan-violates-treaty.../ … … …
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