I am deeply disappointed not only in Gov. Mills’ opposition to the rights of Indigenous people living in Maine, but also her steadfast, perhaps cowardly, refusal to address the issue directly.

It was bad enough — disrespectful and insulting — when she refused to attend an historical address before the state Legislature by tribal leaders. If they had been representatives of the Canadian government or any other nation, she would have been there.

But she also seems incapable of speaking directly to the issue of tribal sovereignty. Instead, there’s her battalion of “spokespeople,” including Gerald Rich, Scott Ogden, AG Aaron Frey, lumber company executives, and a lawyer who used to represent a lumber company. These mouthpieces and special interest reps even go so far as to challenge a Harvard report that clearly shows the economic disadvantages Maine tribes face. And that challenge does not appear to be of the facts in the report, but rather its funding source, thereby libeling the integrity of the report’s author. That’s simply sleazy.

I understand that the 1980 Resettlement Act was agreed to by tribal leaders. But I also understand that it included last-minute additions that set the stage for tribal rights to be compromised or even denied. Perhaps the tribal leaders who signed off on the agreement didn’t realize the full scope of its impact; perhaps no one did. But it is the reality today and the more than 40-year-old agreement needs to be changed. Now.


Cathy Wolff


Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story