State and national news media published numerous stories about a statement issued Dec. 20 by the Wabanaki Alliance on the fate of a measure that would have placed Wabanaki Nations in Maine on equal footing as all other federally recognized tribes with regard to future federal legislation. The legislation had passed the US House but was rejected in the Senate following opposition by U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME). Here is a sampling of that coverage. Find coverage of other tribal news on our In the News page


Image with text Portland Press Herald

Electoral protections advance but tribal sovereignty provision left out of massive federal bill

Portland Press Herald
Dec. 20, 2022

A proposal to allow Maine tribes to benefit from future federal Indian laws failed to advance in Congress after the Senate stripped it from the final version of the omnibus federal spending bill during negotiations on the package this week.
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Wabanaki tribes criticize Maine Sen. King after proposal to let them benefit from federal laws fails

Maine Public
Dec. 21, 2022

The alliance representing Wabanaki tribes in Maine is criticizing independent U.S. Sen. Angus King for blocking an initiative that would have allowed the tribes to benefit from future federal Indian laws. Supporters framed the proposal as a necessary update to the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, which Maine’s tribal leaders have long blamed for limiting their authority over natural resources, gaming, taxation, criminal justice and economic opportunities.
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Senator Angus King blocks beneficial law for Maine

Indian Country Today
Dec. 21, 2021

Yesterday leaders of the House and Senate announced they had reached a deal on a Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill. Disappointingly, this budget deal omits crucial language previously included in House-passed spending legislation in July that would ensure that the Wabanaki Nations are no longer unfairly excluded from beneficial acts passed by Congress. That language mirrored the Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act (H.R. 6707), legislation that was drafted and supported by Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and would have helped begin to right decades of injustice and provide the opportunity for millions of dollars in economic activity in rural Maine.
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Benefits of federal law to remain out of Maine tribes’ reach

Associated Press
Dec. 21, 2022

Congress has halted a bill that would have allowed Native American tribes in Maine to get the same benefits of future federal laws that tribes across the rest of the U.S. do. Native American leaders in Maine blamed independent Sen. Angus King for blocking the proposal, which would have applied to tribes bound by terms of a Maine land claims settlement.
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Maine tribal leaders denounce Sen. King for blocking Wabanaki sovereignty bill

Maine Beacon
Dec. 21, 2022

Tribal leaders in Maine say they are “extremely disappointed” that, due to opposition from Sen. Angus King, the Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act was not included in the final congressional budget deal announced Tuesday. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Jared Golden and co-sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree, would have adjusted the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, a jurisdictional arrangement between the tribes and the state that Indigenous leaders have long criticized for leaving the Wabanaki Nations with less authority over natural resources, gaming, taxation, criminal justice and economic development than 570 other federally recognized tribes.
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