Penobscot Nation Tribal Ambassador and Wabanaki Alliance board President Maulian Bryant joined hundreds of Maine citizens and organizations urging the Maine Legislature and Governor Mills to support long overdue changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act. Ambassador Bryant was one of the numerous people, businesses, and groups to offer testimony to the Judiciary Committee in support of LD 2007 An Act to Advance Self-determination for Wabanaki Nations.

“The Wabanaki Alliance board and coalition remain in full support of meaningfully amending the 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims and Implementing Acts to restore the recognition of inherent tribal sovereignty. We are hopeful for a good outcome for LD 2007 and thankful to Speaker Talbot Ross for championing this effort as well as all of our supporters and allies. While the journey to progress is a long and winding one, we are focused on increased self- determination and well-being for our tribal nations. We appreciate the work being done in the Judiciary Committee and look forward to next steps for this effort,” declared Penobscot Ambassador Maulian Bryant.

LD 2007 embodies most of the recommendations suggested by the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act initially convened in the summer of 2019 which issued published recommendations in January 2020. Legislation has been introduced the last three legislative sessions (LD 2094 in the 129th, LD 1626 in the 130th, & LD 2007 in the 131st) to implement the Task Force recommendations.

As stated in a joint letter issued by the five Wabanaki chiefs in April 2022:

Our people have lived with the negative consequences of the settlement act for over 40 years. However, we have made more progress in our sovereignty restoration efforts in the past four years than we did in the previous several decades. We need to remember that we started this fight on the backs of our ancestors and those who came before us, and our goal has always been to make progress for the next 7 generations that will come after us. Our fight for sovereignty restoration will not end today. We want the conversation to continue and we will press forward to engage more Mainers on these issues.

Learn more about the bill in our LD 2007 Take Action Toolkit