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Law
Maine tribes mark 25 years since settlement


Monday was the 25th anniversary of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, the law that settled the land claims of three tribes.

On October 10, 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the act into law. The Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe were each awarded $26.8 million to buy land, plus 13.5 million each in trust accounts. The Houlton Band of Maliseets received $900,000 to acquire land.

The law subjected tribal land to state criminal and civil jurisdiction. The courts have ruled that the tribes, when they act as governments, must submit to state laws as well. When dealing solely with internal matters, the tribes are subject to their own laws.

The tribe left out of the deal was the Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians. The omission has been a blessing in disguise, as the tribe's sovereignty hasn't been limited in any way.

Get the Story:
Tribes' deal hits 25-year mark (AP 10/11)
Land claims revisited (The Bangor Daily News 10/10)
Left out of 1980 deal, Micmac able to 'taste freedom' (The Bangor Daily News 10/10)

Relevant Documents:
Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1990

Related Stories:
Maine tribe wins key ruling on state jurisdiction (04/15)
Maine public schools must teach about tribes (04/05)
Penobscot Chief discusses environmental struggle (03/15)
Editorial: Maine must repair relationship with tribes (12/03)
Editorial: Maine tribes need more attention (11/22)
Forum examines legacy of tribal settlement acts (04/02)
Penobscot Nation chief addresses Maine Legislature (02/11)
EPA allows state jurisdiction over Maine tribal lands (12/3)
US sues to compensate Penobscot Nation (5/3)
Tribes ordered to release some documents (5/2)
Maine dispute heads back to court (2/12)
Go directly to jail, do not collect sovereignty... (2/7)
Tribal-environmental summit in Maine (1/24)
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