Opinion: Recognize sovereignty of Maine tribes
"What’s it like to know that the reason you live on a reservation is because all kinds of French folks and Irish folks — and every other nationality that came to North America — scooted you further and further over to one side and gleaned their prosperity where your ancestors used to thrive?

Did I just use the verb scooted? Wow, that’s a really nice way to explain that the policy of the United States of America — and the colonizers before — was to murder native peoples who got in the way. Ever wonder if our predecessors hadn’t massacred millions of Indians where we’d be living right now?

Suppose everything about U.S. history stayed the same, except the parts where the natives got killed. Suppose we had acquired the land peacefully and left them — let’s say — half the territory that is now the U.S. We’d probably have equal populations today because they significantly outnumbered us then.

Do you think if we had done that and their nations were equal to ours, we’d have to discuss tribal sovereignty? Do you think the state Legislature would have before them a law to protect tribal status as sovereign nations if we’d just treated them honorably in the beginning?

No, I don’t think so either.

So let’s figure out what the real story is. I’ve got to warn you: It’s pretty unpleasant."

Get the Story:
Pat LaMarche: Keep Maine Indians sovereign (The Bangor Daily News 3/19)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Improving tribal-state relations in Maine (3/5)