We have a “disappointing” relationship between Maine tribes and the settlers or other citizens of Maine. I believe that most of us do not intend to support racism. But we have to do better than not intend harm. We also have to listen and notice the harm that our laws and systems cause. And we have to be willing to make change when we can do better.

Good news. We have the guidance of the Maine legislature’s own bipartisan task force which included Native and non-native participants. The link below connects to the report from task force : “Task force on the Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementation Act”: https://legislature.maine.gov/doc/3815

From that task force L.D. 1626 has been created. It is called: “An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act.” It actually corrects the mistakes made during the 1980s. The Maine tribes support it.

There is a long history of problems for the Wabanaki people in relation to the settlers and the state and federal governments. But there is also recent and significant effort to correct the problems. But we have not yet arrived at a place of right relationship. More changes are needed.

The LD contributes many solutions. The most important aspect is one of respect for the native people of this land. A link to more history can be found here: wabanakialliance.com/wabanaki-history/

I support the right of native people to have the say so over their land and the needs of the tribes. This is a step toward right relationship. I support L.D. 1626 and encourage all of us to be informed and take action.

Jacqui Clark


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