I strongly encourage Maine’s Congressional delegation — I specifically mean Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins — to support federal legislation to make sure that Wabanaki tribes in Maine can benefit from future federal laws that apply to 570 other federally recognized tribes across the country.

I applaud our U.S. representatives, Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree, in sponsoring such legislation.

One hundred fifty-one laws have been passed since 1980, and the Wabanaki tribes have missed out on programs to improve public health, deal with natural disasters, foster economic development and protect the environment. Some of the tribes cannot even access the Indian Child Welfare Act as designed.

I participated this May in the record-breaking public hearing in Augusta over state legislation concerning this matter and experienced unusual bi-partisan support for such actions. The majority of the people of Maine are clearly in support of such legislation.

I ask Mainers to join me in encouraging our senators to do the right thing by supporting this important legislative process.

James Lysen, Lewiston

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