Task Force Report Calls For Sweeping Changes To Maine Tribes' Relationship To State Government

Gov. Janet Mills announces a posthumous pardon of attorney Donald Gellers, who worked with the Passamaquoddy tribe, as Passamaquoddy Tribal Rep. Rena Newell (left) and Passamaquoddy Vice Chief Darrell Newell look on.
A new report is proposing sweeping changes in the way Maine’s tribes interact with state government. The findings come from a task force charged with reviewing the landmark 1980 Indian land claims act.
The nearly 300-page report details conflicts that have arisen over competing interpretations of the settlement act. It also lays out how the act has resulted in Maine tribes being treated differently than most of the nation’s native Americans, with limited powers of self determination.
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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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