The Friends (Quaker) Committee on Maine Public Policy applauds Rep. Jared Golden for his statement of support for Tribal sovereignty.

His willingness to call the current settlement act that restricts Wabanaki Tribes in Maine “problematic” and “increasingly unsustainable” is evidence of his character, courage and thoughtfulness as a leader. It also shows that he thoroughly understands the situation that tribal communities in Maine find themselves in. The Legislature has an historic opportunity this session to right this wrong, and to take up an omnibus bill that ensures that Wabanaki governments have the same rights and immunities as all other federally-recognized tribes in America.

Time and again, it has been shown in other states that when the tribes do well, surrounding non-native communities and the whole state does well. Resources that have been denied the tribes would flow not only to them but to surrounding rural areas. Rep. Golden understands, as do so many of us, that the time has come to take away the burdens imposed unfairly 40 years ago by the state of Maine, and to usher in a new era of fairness, as well as economic and cultural opportunities for us all.

Shirley Hager, Chesterville

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