More than 200 people rallied and marched at the State House on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in support of Question 6. Find more photos and links to media coverage in the galleries below. Photo: Anne Henshaw
Over 200 people rallied outside the State House on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in support of Question 6, a referendum question that will appear on the November 7 ballot that would restore printing Article X sections 1, 2 and 5 of Maine’s constitution. The Wabanaki Alliance, a group created by the four Wabanaki Nations comprising five communities, asked people to back Question 6 to make transparent the obligations to the Wabanaki that the State of Maine accepted as a condition of statehood. People backing Question 6 were urged to register to vote, cast their ballot in support of Question 6, and to volunteer during the final weeks of the campaign.
“The Wabanaki Alliance is gathering at the State House on Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor our ancestors, celebrate our continued existence in our homeland, and promote the work we are doing with our coalition to advance the rights and recognition of sovereignty for our nations,” declared Penobscot Nation Ambassador and Wabanaki Alliance President Maulian Bryant.
“Our focus this Indigenous Peoples’ Day is urging voters to approve the Question 6 ballot initiative for the statewide election on November 7th,” she continued. “By voting yes on Question 6 Mainers can support the Wabanaki by passing a constitutional amendment that would restore printing a section of the founding document that details treaty and other obligations that Maine assumed from Massachusetts as a condition of statehood in 1820.”
Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820 and became a state as part of the Missouri Compromise. The process of Maine becoming a state first required legislation by Massachusetts, called the Articles of Separation, which were included in Maine’s constitution. In 1875, the Maine Legislature proposed an amendment to the Maine Constitution to no longer print sections 1, 2 and 5 of Article X, the Articles of Separation. It was adopted in 1876.
Section 5 said that Maine would “perform all the duties and obligations of this Commonwealth” of Massachusetts towards the Wabanaki tribes, “whether the same arise from treaties, or otherwise.”
Ambassador Bryant added, “This section had been taken out of the printed version of the Maine Constitution, and we advocate putting it back into print to increase transparency, accuracy, clarity, and truth telling that benefits the Wabanaki and all Mainers. Restoring this history is a way we can make an important and overdue change, together.”
People wanting more information about Question 6 can visit the Yes on 6 website.
The Wabanaki Alliance encourages all supporters of Question 6 to register to vote and to cast their ballot. People can register through the day of election. Registered voters can vote in a number of ways depending on where they live. For more information on voting, visit the Maine Secretary of State’s Office or the League of Women Voters of Maine.
To view the media gallery from today’s rally and march, click on the first image to open a lightbox where you can see full images.
The Wabanaki Alliance rally received state and nationwide coverage. Find a sampling below.
Indigenous Peoples Day rally urges Maine voters to restore tribal treaties to printed constitution
Associated Press, October 9, 2023
(Also appeared in US News and World Report, Seattle Times, Times Union, Tulsa World, Washington Times, and others)
A matter of not hiding history: Wabanaki leaders and allies rally behind Question 6
Maine Morning Star, October 9, 2023
(Also appeared in News from the States)
Wabanaki Alliance rallies support for Question 6 on Indigenous People’s Day
Beacon, October 9, 2023
Maine tribes rally on Indigenous Peoples’ Day to support November referendum
Bangor Daily News, October 9, 2023
Wabanaki leaders rally for support outside Maine State House
WCSH-TV, News Center Maine, October 9, 2023
Wabanaki leaders, advocates rally outside the Maine State House
Portland Press Herald, October 9, 2023
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Maine tribes rally for referendum restoring language to state constitution
Spectrum News, October 9, 2023
Native Americans celebrate their histories and cultures on Indigenous Peoples Day
ABC News, October 9, 2023
(Article includes the Wabanaki Alliance rally in a roundup of events around the country)
Wabanaki Alliance holds rally supporting Question 6
WMTW-TV, October 9, 2023
Wabanaki Alliance rallies for ‘yes’ vote on Question 6
WGME-TV, October 9, 2023
Hundreds celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by urging Mainers to vote “Yes” on Question 6
WABI-TV, October 9, 2023
Wabanaki Alliance Coalition hosts rally in Augusta regarding Question 6
WAGM-TV, October 9, 2023
Hundreds rally at State House for Question 6 on Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Maine Public, October 10, 2023