‘Headline News’ exploring Maine, Native American relationship

Posted Feb. 24, 2010, at 5:36 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:47 a.m.

The state of Maine has a unique relationship with the four Native American tribes that populate the land. Unlike other states, Maine has a direct relationship with the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes, giving them semisovereign municipality. The issues that have arisen over the years between the tribes and the state will be explored in the new exhibit at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor. “Headline News: Wabanaki Sovereignty in the 21st Century.” Inspired by news headlines of the past 20 years, the exhibit will explore the issues that have cropped up, from environmental management and policy to the retention of Native American languages. On display will be an assortment of new and old artifacts including objects made of ash, birch bark, cedar, porcupine quills and sweet grass; natural history specimens and faunal remains; hunting and trapping equipment; books and CDs illustrating the four languages; traditional games, maps and photographs; and a full-sized birch-bark canoe. The exhibit was curated by Raney Bench, curator of education for the Abbe Museum, in conjunction with consultation from members of the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes. An opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the museum on Mt. Desert Street in Bar Harbor. For information, call 288-3519 or visit www.abbemuseum.org.

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