Gov. Janet Mills (D-ME) is asking Passamaquoddy Tribe representatives to drop their push for expanded sovereignty powers. The plea comes after efforts failed in the legislature to reverse a previous state law that restricts sovereignty.
Gov. Mills says continuing the sovereignty push could be a setback in tribal relations with her administration. The issue relates to the tribe’s efforts to drill new wells on tribal land for clean water to replace an unsatisfactory water supply. The state law requires the tribe to secure approval from the state which has so far not been granted.
In Utah, a U.S. federal appeals court says a tribal court ruling has no jurisdiction in a water dispute involving a non-tribal member. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Ute Tribe’s court overstepped its bounds when it ordered a stop to the irrigation water to a rancher’s operation that includes tribal land.
The appeals court says the tribal court has no authority over non-Tribal members. It also affirms a previous decision that the tribal court’s jurisdiction applies only to cases that affect the Tribe’s political integrity, economic security, or health or welfare. The tribe maintains the water is reserved for tribal members under an agreement dating back to the reservation’s founding in 1861.
So far, Fairbanks city elected officials remain opposed to reading a Native land acknowledgement at the start of city council meetings. The city council rejected a resolution to do that in March. Native leaders asked them to reconsider saying it’s a matter of history and a matter of respect. Dan Bross from KUAC reports.
Speaking during the public comment portion of a council meeting, several local Native leaders expressed disappointment with council members Jim Clark, Gerry Cleworth, Lonny Marney, and Aaron Gibson voting against the land acknowledgement resolution last month. Fairbanks Native Association executive director Steve Ginnis recounted Clark’s response to a letter from Native organizations about the land acknowledgement.
“He stated that there are many cultures contributing to the community and singling out would divide rather than unite us. Councilman Clark’s response was the most honest one we received, and one which we whole heartedly disagree with,” said Ginnis.
Member Jim Clark said he remains opposed to the required reading of a land acknowledgement at council meetings.
“If the City singles out an acknowledgement, it’s also excluding, and so for that reason I’m just against any type of acknowledgement. And I think we can just agree to disagree on that, but it doesn’t diminish any type of respect,” Clark said.
Member Jerry Cleworth repeated his position that a land acknowledgement is better displayed in the council chambers along with the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and other historical documents.
Dartmouth College has returned a collection of historic 200 year old hand written papers back to the Mohegan Tribe. Dartmouth officials returned the papers in a repatriation ceremony. The papers were written in the 18th century by Samson Occom, a scholar and member of the Mohegan tribe.
The collection includes letters, diaries, sermons, and a page of Indigenous herbal remedies. Occom wrote in five languages: English, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Mohegan.
Dartmouth experts say the papers contain what is believed to be the earliest example of written Mohegan language.
The Mohegans have been pushing for Occom to receive more recognition for this role in the founding of Dartmouth.
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