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State of the Tribes Address held at Maine Legislature

The Joint Convention was called upon to provide Tribal Chiefs with the "opportunity to speak directly to Maine Senators and Representatives."

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers convened for the Joint Convention of the Maine Legislature on Thursday to hear from leaders of the five Wabanaki tribes.

Leaders of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Mi’kmaq Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Motahkomikuk, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik, and the Penobscot Nation, will speak on the state of the Tribes, a release from the Office of the Senate President said.

The convention was called upon by Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Rachel Talbot Ross to provide Tribal Chiefs with the "opportunity to speak directly to Maine Senators and Representatives," the release states.

"It is a part of ongoing legislative work to strengthen the relationship between Maine and its Tribal neighbors," the release said.

The first State of the Tribes address was held on March 11, 2002, in order for the state to "recognize the Tribal nations' contributions to and rightful place within the state and that the state work with the Tribes to find common ground in the pursuit of mutual prosperity and cooperation," according to the release.

Tribal Chiefs attending the convention Thursday include:

  • Clarissa Sabattis: Chief of the Houlton Band of Maliseets 
  • Edward Peter Paul: Chief of the Aroostook Band of Mi’kmaqs 
  • William Nicholas: Chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Motahkomikuk
  • Rena Newell: Chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik
  • Kirk Francis: Chief of the Penobscot Nation

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