Maine legislators will consider a number of bills during the 131st Legislature that involve issues related to the Wabanaki Nations. the Wabanaki Alliance has put together a bill tracker which provides details on many of those bills and actions you can take to stand with the Wabanaki.
In June of 2020 the tribes in Maine (Mi’kmaq Nation, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Nation) formed the Wabanaki Alliance. The Wabanaki Alliance was formed to educate people of Maine about the need for securing sovereignty of the tribes in Maine.
The League is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organizations’ current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.
Here at the League, we stand with Wabanaki communities and their claim to tribal sovereignty. In the 130th legislature, the League joined the Wabanaki Alliance — a coalition of over 90 non-profit, faith-based, and racial and social justice organizations — working to pass LD 1626. Two hundred thirty-four League members and volunteers submitted written testimony in favor of LD 1626, the successor of LD 2094 from the 129th Legislature. LD 1626 passed in the House and Senate but died on the Special Appropriations Table at the end of the legislative session. We will continue to advocate for the full recognition of sovereignty for the Wabanaki tribes in the 131st session (2023-2024).
Support the Wabanaki Community:
Racial Justice & Equity Team
The League has a dedicated team that advocates for racial justice and equity bills before the legislature. These bills include: addressing prison gerrymandering, recognizing tribal sovereignty, strengthening Wabanaki studies in Maine Schools, amending the state constitution to publish treaty obligations, and others.
We participate in coalitions with stakeholders and follow their guidance to mobilize our members and volunteers in support of these bills. Want to join the team? Email Lane at email@example.com. to get involved.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Neighbor to Neighbor is a project of the League of Women Voters of Maine designed to increase voter engagement and participation by canvassing neighborhoods with low voter participation. Low propensity voters are often the most marginalized and face the greatest obstacles to the voting booth. Our project consists of knocking on doors and talking to residents about elections, voting, and other forms of civic engagement. For ESL residents, we have easy-to-read voting booklets translated into Arabic, English, French, Somali, and Spanish, with additional languages coming soon. Volunteers are always needed, and we are preparing to knock on doors this fall ahead of the November 2022 election. Interested? Learn more here.
During the 130th Legislature, the League also testified on several bills on racial justice issues, along with our partners in the Coalition on Racial Equity (CORE). Those bills included:
Racial Impact Statements (LD 2): Signed into law! A racial impact statement, like a fiscal impact statement, is a tool to aid legislators in detecting unintended and unforeseen disparate impacts of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation.
An Act To Promote Equity in Policy Making (LD 1610) This bill is a critical step towards improving demographic analysis and data sharing in Maine government that builds on the promise of LD 2 which this committee passed last year. As ardent followers and champions of the evidence-based public policy process, we have long observed the challenge captured by the statement “no data, no problem.” LD 1610 provides structures to make more of this data available so we can begin to identify the problems, and develop policy solutions to address them.