This Tuesday, legislators will hold a public hearing on a bill that will, after 40 long years, restore sovereignty to the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians. LD 1626 will enact consensus recommendations from a bipartisan task force convened to address long-standing issues with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA) and the state law that accompanied it, the Maine Implementing Act. Passed in 1980, the settlement was a negotiation between the tribes and the state and federal governments. The state and courts have for four decades used language in the settlement to treat the tribes as little more than municipalities, leaving them with fewer rights than all other federally recognized tribes across the country.
The Wabanaki people have waited long enough. As allies, we stand with them in support of this legislation and ask you to join us. While there is broad, bipartisan support for the bill, it has a long road to passage. Your voice can make a difference, and the time to speak is now. Please follow the steps below to submit written testimony in support of LD 1626 before the hearing on Tuesday, May 4 and tell legislators that it’s time for the Wabanaki people in Maine to be treated on equal footing as the other 570 federally recognized tribes.
Find more background and links to talking points in our call to action, #StandWithWabanaki: Support Tribal Sovereignty.
The Suit Up Maine Admin Team
How to submit your testimony:
- Visit the Legislature’s testimony submission portal.
- Select public hearing.
- Select Judiciary Committee.
- Select May 4 at 9 AM.
- Select LD 1626.
- Upload your testimony.
- Enter the required contact information.
- Select the “I am not a robot” captcha.
- Select Submit/Register.
On our website you’ll also find:
- Maine Legislature Roundup: A legislative tracker for the current session.
- Actions: Calls to action on a range of issues.
- Letter to the Editor Guide: Tips on writing LTEs and a list of Maine newspapers that accept them.
- Statements, Op-Eds, and Testimony: Legislative testimony, guest editorials, and statements from our admin team.
- Top Events: A list of upcoming progressive events across the state.
- Guides & Explainers: Resources on complex topics.
- Civic Dashboard: Contact info for your elected officials, tutorials on the legislative process, and more.
- You can find more of our actions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Suit Up Maine is an independent, all-volunteer grassroots progressive group that seeks to build a more informed and engaged electorate in Maine. Founded in 2016, Suit Up Maine is run by and for Mainers, and is not engaged in fundraising of any kind. Representing thousands of constituents across Maine’s 16 counties, Suit Up Maine raises awareness of and advocates for state and federal policies and legislation that promote equity and equality in civil rights, social justice, health care, the environment, education, the economy, and other areas that affect the lives of all people. Suit Up Maine is beholden to issues and action, not parties or politicians.
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