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Gov. Mills Says She's Working To Nominate Members To Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission

Gov. Janet Mills says she is working to nominate several members to the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC) after years of vacancies that have slowed down some of the group's work.

The commission, which was established nearly 40 years ago, is composed of tribal and state representatives to work together on issues that have ranged from fishing rules to land conflicts. However, managing director Paul Thibeault, says many state vacancies have not been filled over the past several years, and it's been difficult for the commission to function.

“It's really critical that both sides of our commission be full and active so that we can accomplish our purposes,” Thibeault says.

On Friday, Mills said that she is looking at a number of potential nominees to fill six spots on the commission, and would like it to be used as a forum to help solve specific problems.

"I'd rather communicate than litigate,” said Mills. “I'll put it that way. And I think that MITSC could be a good forum for communication."

Mills says she has also been meeting with tribal leaders informally over the past few months.