The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC) is an inter-governmental entity created as a part of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement of 1980. Six members are appointed by the State, two by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, two by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and two by the Penobscot Indian Nation. The thirteenth, who is the chairperson, is selected by the other twelve.
MITSC’s principal responsibilities are to continually review the effectiveness of the Settlement and the social, economic, and legal relationship between the Tribes and the State. In its broadest sense, MITSC is tasked with supporting effective Tribal-State relations, and in service of this, empasizes outreach, networking, and education.
MITSC has recently completed and published a new special report, Sea Run, which addresses the impact of Maine policies and activity on the quality and quantity of traditional tribal fish stocks and sustenance lifeways practices, spanning from the time of first contact between Europeans and the Wabanaki Nations to the present day. This report provides a broad overview of actions and inactions by the State of Maine, whether those actions/inactions were based on express policy, informal policy, or on decisions simply not to have any policy at all. The report includes specific recommendations for implementation that are intended to promote discussion and cooperative action.
In 2021 MITSC published a Research Report on the 1876 Removal of Article 10, Section 5 from Printed Copies of the Maine Constitution.
Over the past few years PFAS have emerged as a growing contaminant of concern for the food supply in Maine as testing has revealed levels of contamination where land was spread with sludge containing PFAS (in most cases, decades ago).More About Tribal-State Environmental Issues
In 2001 the Wabanaki Studies Law (often referred to as LD 291) was enacted, requiring that Wabanaki Studies be taught in Maine public schools. Penobscot Rep. Donna Loring was the primary legislative sponsor, with Passamaquoddy Rep. Donald Soctomah as a co-sponsor.. MITSC was centrally involved in the creation and implementation of LD 291.Learn more about Wabanaki Studies
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (often referred to as UNDRIP) was adopted by the United Nations on September 13th, 2007. The Declaration is a comprehensive statement addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples. The document includes 46 Articles that address the rights of indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures, and natural environments, and to pursue self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.Read Our Brief History of UNDRIP
A Sunlight Media Collective production featuring citizens of the Penobscot Nation.
Tributaries is MITSC's newsletter where you can stay current on Tribal-State relations, legal developments, resources, and stories from our communities.
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