Was the Indian land claim deal good for tribes?

Posted Oct. 11, 2010, at 11:59 a.m.

Thirty-years ago, the United States government signed the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act with Maine Indian tribes. The tribes received more than $80 million, much of which they used to buy back land their ancestors once owned. In exchange, the

tribes dropped lawsuits seeking land that had been taken during forced treaties.

Has the deal been good for the tribes? Has the money provided a comfortable subsistence for tribal members, or has it created an unhealthy dependence?

Should the tribes have sovereignty, in the way that a nation has sovereignty? Should the structure of the tribes be transformed so that tribal members are akin to being stockholders in a corporation?