Every election cycle, some politicians make hay with a proposal to shrink the size of the Legislature. But last week the House of Representatives grew and everyone cheered.

The new addition was David Slagger who doesn’t represent a geographical district but the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, a tribe with about 1,100 Maine members.

Maine is the only state to invite tribes to send representatives to participate in the lawmaking process. These Indian representatives can’t vote, because their constituents are already represented by other legislators, but they can speak out on issues, provide a different perspective and influence their colleagues.

The Maliseets now join the Penobscots and the Passamaquoddy as represented tribes in the Legislature, not just another interest group but an integral thread in fabric of the state.

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