AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — It has been 35 years since the Indian Land Claims Settlement was put into place to return land to Maine’s Native American Tribes.
At a presentation Thursday at the State House, tribal leaders admitted there have been a lot of disappointments.
Tribal members showed their frustration to Maine's judiciary committee as they listed several issues the native population continues to face; that includes limited resources on reservations and healthcare disparities.
Tribal members say the Indian Claims act has failed to modernize reservations and are fed up with the way things have been going.
“We didn't ask to come here; we didn't ask to be told how to fish. We already know how to fish. We already know how to hunt and how to survive. We're not asking the state for anything. We're asking to be left alone,” said tribal chief William Nicholas.
Tribal members then walked out of the presentation after lawmakers brought up government funding. Tribal Chiefs said the government can keep its money if they can once again, govern themselves.