Three Tribes Officially Sever Relationship with State

May 27, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - Three of Maine's Native American tribes have officially severed their relationships with the state, a day after two of the tribes called their representatives home from the Legislature.

The tribes have clashed with Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration over management of tribal waters, fishing quotas, gaming and other issues.

LePage infuriated Native Americans elders last month when he rescinded a 2011 executive order promoting the special relationship between the state and the tribes.

On Indian Island this afternoon, leaders of the Passamaquoddy and Micmac tribes joined the Penobscot chief Kirk Francis in signing an official declaration.

"We do not recognize the authority of the state of Maine, its governor, Legislature or courts to define our sovereignty or culture or to interfere with our self-governing rights," Francis said.

The three tribes are calling on Maine's congressional delegation to push for an investigation into the state's compliance with the 1980 Indian Claims Settlement Act.

Maine's fourth tribe, the Maliseets, have expressed support for the other tribes' actions, but have opted to keep their state representative in Augusta.