State Failed To Work With Tribe In Marine Fish Laws, Says Report

Jul 12, 2014

A commission of state and tribal representatives has found that the state of Maine did not always follow prescribed processes in its dealings with the Passamaquoddy tribe and its use of marine resources.

   The report was released Friday on the website of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission. That's  a 13 member,  inter-governmental entity created in 1980 to oversee issues surrounding the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act -or MICSA- and its implementation act- known as MIA.  The report says the state failed to work with the Passamaquoddy as described in those acts, by passing marine fisheries laws in 1998, 2013, and 2014, without the tribe's consent. 

 In the report's summary, the commission makes several recommendations. One is to replace the 1998 rule that changed the definition of "sustenance" and made it possible for the state override the tribe's approval or rejection of amendments. It also recommends clearer reporting standards when aspects of MICSA or MIA are up for review.