The Wabanaki Alliance Tribal Coalition celebrates more than 150 organizations and businesses joining as allies in the effort to recognize self-determination for the tribes in Maine. The Alliance is working to substantially reform the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act (MICSA), legislation passed in 1980 that deprives Wabanaki Nations of their inherent right to self governance and the ability to access federally beneficial laws available to all other federally  recognized tribes. 

“What uplifting and inspiring news that the Wabanaki Alliance Tribal Coalition has exceeded 150 members! This work had very humble but genuine roots with individuals and organizations scattered throughout our homeland who wanted to be good allies and needed a collective space to shine. I am so happy we have achieved not just results and progress but we have also built solid relationships and a network connected with a love of equity, justice, and shared humanity. We cannot do this work without this Coalition, and the tribal leaders and citizens are deeply thankful,” declared Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Bryant, who also serves as the President of the Wabanaki Alliance board of directors. 

Alliance supporters comprise coalition members from all across Maine including a range of businesses, organizations, and demographics. They’ve joined the coalition because they believe the Wabanaki Nations are the best stewards of precious natural resources, a potential economic engine for rural Maine, or because it’s just the right thing to do. 

“We are Master Maine Guides and make our living as full-time, year-round professional wilderness guides indebted to the Wabanaki Nations for all that we have learned from them. We want them granted full tribal sovereignty by the state as all other federally recognized tribes enjoy. The Wabanaki Nations and we, their neighbors, are being economically left behind due to the state’s unfair treatment of them,” said Polly Mahoney & Kevin Slater, founders and owners of Mahoosuc Guide Services in Newry, Maine. 

MICSA prevents the tribes in Maine from accessing federally beneficial laws that all other 570 federally recognized tribes across the country can utilize without limitations. A report from the Project on Indigenous Governance and Development (formerly Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development) shows that lack of access puts the Wabanaki Nations at significant disadvantage economically compared to other tribes, and especially compared to other citizens in Maine. A lack of economic opportunity filters down to poor health outcomes as well.  

“GrowSmart Maine joined the Wabanaki Alliance because allowing Wabanaki tribal sovereignty  will provide for new economic growth opportunities for all who call Aroostook County home,” stated Galen Weibley, board member, GrowSmart Maine, and Presque Isle Director of  Economic and Community Development (for identification purposes only). 

Last legislative session, Maine lawmakers voted in a strong bipartisan way to enact LD 2004, a bill that would have granted the Wabanaki Nations access to federally beneficial laws. Unfortunately, Governor Mills vetoed the bill. An override of Governor Mills’ veto failed in the Maine House of Representatives. 

“The Baptismal covenant we make as Episcopalians calls us to “seek and serve Christ in all  persons” and “to respect the dignity of every human being,” particularly those who have been marginalized. We stand with other Episcopalians and all people of goodwill across Maine in support of our Wabanaki siblings and recognizing their sovereignty,” said Rev. Andrew D’Angio White, Rector, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Kennebunk. 

Looking forward, the Wabanaki Alliance Tribal Coalition will continue to educate people and urge policymakers to formally recognize the self-determination of the tribes in Maine by passing LD 2007, An Act to Advance Self-determination for Wabanaki Nations. LD 2007 will be considered when the Maine Legislature reconvenes in January 2024. 

Organizations and individuals wanting to learn more about Wabanaki self-determination, Wabanaki Nations, and/or to join the Wabanaki Alliance Tribal Coalition should visit the Wabanaki Alliance Coalition page.

Wabanaki Coalition Members*

16 Hoops LLC
A Climate to Thrive
Acadia Action
Acupuncture by Meret
Aikido in the Schools
All Kind LLC
Alliance for Economic Democracy
American Friends Service Committee Wabanaki Program
Appalachian Mountain Club
Atlantic Black Box
Bangor Area Derby
Baskahegan Company
Belfast Community Co-op
Belfast Coworking
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Biddeford Saco Area SURJ
Boxcar Books
Brick Store Museum
Center for an Ecology-Based Economy
Chaplaincy Institute of Maine (ChIME)
Citizens’ Climate Lobby ME
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
CODATA Center of Excellence in Data for Society at the University of Arizona
Community Change Inc
Confluence Collective
Confluence Institute for Research, Communication, Leadership, and Education (CIRCLE)
Congregation Bet Ha’am
Congregation Beth El Social Action Committee
Conscious Revolution
Conservation Law Foundation
Decolonizing UMaine
Defend Our Health
Dirigo Collective
Down to Earth Storytelling
Downeast Salmon Federation
Drummond Woodsum
Equity Buckfield
Equity Consulting and Education Firm
First Light
First Parish in Portland UU
Food AND Medicine
Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy
Friends of Casco Bay
Friends of the Harriet L Hartley Conservation Area
GrowSmart Maine
Gulf of Maine Books
Harpswell Indivisible
Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
Indivisible Bangor
Indivisible MDI
Jennifer Melville Conservation Consultant
Johnson Legal, LLC
Juneteenth Downeast
JustME for JustUS
Lake & Watershed Associates
Laudholm Trust
League of Women Voters of Maine
Left Bank Books
Loon Echo Land Trust
Mahoosuc Guide Service
Maine Audubon
Maine Center for Economic Policy
Maine Children’s Alliance
Maine Citizens for Clean Elections
Maine Climate Action Now
Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Council of Churches
Maine Education Association
Maine Environmental Education Association
Maine Equal Justice
Maine Family Planning
Maine Farmland Trust
Maine Green Independent Party
Maine Initiatives
Maine Labor Climate Council
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

*As of September 28, 2023

Maine Philanthropy Center
Maine Public Health Association
Maine Shellfish Learning Network
Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN)
Maine Women’s Lobby
Maine Youth Action
Maine Youth for Climate Justice
Maine Youth Power
Maine: Rise Up! Be Heard!
Mainers for Humane Immigration
MDI Racial Equity Working Group
Midcoast Conservancy
Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group MIAG
NASW – Maine Chapter
National Parks Conservation Association
Natural Resources Council of Maine
New England Annual Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (United Methodist)
New England United Methodist Committee on Native American Ministries
Our Power
Out in the Open
Patagonia Freeport
paul’s place
Pax Christi Maine
Peace and Social Justice Forum/Waldo County
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine Chapter
Pink Eraser Press
Place Justice
Portland Trails
Portland by the Foot
Preble Street
Prevention. Action. Change.
Racial Justice Council, Episcopal Diocese of Maine
RAGAR (Rural Action Group Against Racism)
Redbird Media Group, LLC
Restorative Justice Institute of Maine
Restorative Justice Project Maine (RJP)
ReVision Energy
Rising Tide Co-op
Sandra Isaac Images LLC
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park
Sierra Club Maine
Social Work Department, University of Maine at Presque Isle
Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative
Southern Maine for Racial Justice (SMRJ)
SPACE Gallery
Spruce Gum Books
St. David’s Budget Box
St. David’s Episcopal Church – Kennebunk
Suit Up Maine
Sunrise Ecologic, LLC
SURE (Showing Up for Racial Equity) at UUSB (Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor
the good table
The Green Store
The Maine MultiCultural Center
The Mix
The Planeteers of Southern Maine
The Spiral Goddess Collective, a Center for Mind/Body Movement
The Wilderness Society
The Wilson Center for Spiritual Exploration and Multifaith Dialogue
Third Act Maine
Three Rivers Land Trust
Top of Turtle Island Gifts
Tri Town Equity and Inclusion Coalition
Unified Asian Communities
Union of Concerned Scientists
University of Maine, School of Social Work
Washington County Democratic Committee
Western Foothills Land Trust
WindHorse Arts
Yarmouth Community Alliance for Racial Equity (YCARE)
Youth Led Justice (YLJ)