Comments for: Penobscots sue AG over who has authority over river surrounding reservation

Posted Aug. 22, 2012, at 1 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 23, 2012, at 12:06 p.m.

BANGOR | The Penobscot Indian Nation has sued the Maine attorney general and the heads of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Warden Service over who has authority over the waters of the Penobscot River surrounding the reservation. The complaint, with a letter written …

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  • Anonymous

    And now the tea party parrot Attorney General and LePage’s Commissioner of DIF&W want to get into a legal war with the Penobscots. This again is another example of tea party parrot Republican insanity. It has to end and the voters can do it on November 6

    • Anonymous

      Huh?

    • Anonymous

       Do liberals read before they attack?Evidently not.

      • Anonymous

        Gosh timmy I don’t know if liberals read before they post or not. Perhaps you would be better off asking a liberal that question instead of a life long (since 1967) Republican.

      • Anonymous

        It’s like their legislation.  No reading allowed, shoot first and find out what it means later.

  • Anonymous

    Given the poor record America has of keeping our word toward Native Americans, why should Maine perpetuate it? Let them support themselves through fishing. They are not trying to compete with commerical fisherman, just to sustain themselves. It should not even be necessary for them to file the lawsuit.

    • Anonymous

      No individual or groups of people own  or have any jurisdiction of any body of water in the state of MAine. The state and the citizens of the state  own the water and the game in the water. It has been written into law for a long time. Read up on it before using this group of people as just another victim of the nasty pesky Republican government. Besides, if you eat very many of the fish out of this river, you will get cancer. I doubt many people are using it for sustenance.

      • Anonymous

        Really? What did you read? Cite your sources please…

        p.s. “making them up”, does not count as a source.

        • Anonymous

          Here ya go pal. I’m not making anything up. Under this statute, public bodies of water are governed by law hence people harvesting fish from these waters regardless of race need to adhere to the fish and game laws of the State of Maine. The Penobscots own the land they live on and can hunt game outside of the general laws of the State. They are suing for rights to what is in the public waters.http://mainelaw.maine.edu/academics/maine-law-review/pdf/vol17_1/vol17_me_l_rev_161.pdf

      • Anonymous

        “No individual or groups of people own  or have any jurisdiction of any body of water in the state of MAine…. ” 

        There is exactly why members of the Penobscot Nations have the right to fish as they always have, without interference from Augusta.  

        It could not be said any better,  cmy6.

        • Anonymous

          Within the boundaries of the law. They want to be able to fish without regard to the law.

          • Anonymous

            WHOSE laws ? 

            Think about it. 
            It is a very serious point. 

          • Anonymous

            Apparently you weren’t around for the Indian Land Claims Settlement in 1981. Are you suggesting we change the constitution to allow Native Americans to live by their own nation’s laws while not on their land? Or shall we apologize more, rip up the settlement that they agreed to and give it all back to them? Sounds like a good idea to me. We can all migrate to Europe and become “undocumented guests” and enjoy their government system. It seems that is what some want in this country as it is anyway. But then again maybe not, Europe doesn’t welcome outsiders like we do.  

          • Anonymous

            Nor was I around when the agents of The Crown claimed the land in her name, ignoring the reality that was was already a civilization there that was both doing just fine and living in harmony with the environment. 

            Common bigotries aside, my point was just that  whosit statement : 

            “No individual or groups of people own  or have any jurisdiction of any body of water in the state of MAine…. ”  

            Supports the Penobscots point, perfectly, and raises the question of why should people who have no place in making the laws care about other people’s law’s … or ” no tax without….” as the same point was once made in siighly different circumstances. 

            Now, you explain to mme why you oppose any person taking resources off the land, responsibility, to feed themselves, instead of stealing , or be quite. 
            Okay ? 

          • Anonymous

            I have no problem harvesting for the purpose of survival (tongue in cheek). There is more too the story than this. They also want all game off limits to anyone else like it is on their lands. This is fine with me also. The problem exists with the land and cash settlement they agreed on in court in 1981. It was supposed to preclude this from happening. It is like you settling with an insurance company than going back for more later. It was a legal binding agreement.  Here is a Indian Land Claims Settlements are settlements of Native American land claims by the United States Congress, codified in 25 U.S.C. ch. 19.In several instances, these settlements ended live claims of aboriginal title in the United States. The first two—the Rhode Island Claims Settlement Act and the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act—extinguished all aboriginal title in Rhode Island and Maine, respectively, following initial rulings in the tribes favor.: And they settled for 81.5 million dollars a lot of so called sacred land that they wanted back, was made available to them for a sum of money which they did purchase a lot of land. So with your frame of mind on this subject, why did we and they ever concieve this settlement in the first place if things were to come full circle again? I did mess up the date, it was actually 1980.

      • Tyler Durant

        Your statement is not entirely true. Property owners along most navigable rivers and streams typically own to the thread (half way between opposing banks) of the river or stream. The public holds an easement between opposing high water marks of the river or stream for fishing, fowling, and boating. As far as ponds, your statement is correct in regard to naturally made ponds of 10 acres or more or man made ponds of 30 acres or more. These ponds, known as great ponds, are owned by the State of Maine below the low water mark and the public  has an easement for fishing, fowling, and boating between the high and low water line (upland property owners own to the low water mark on great ponds). Ponds under 10 acres can actually be owned by property owners adjoining the pond. As far as tidal waters, upland property owners typically own to the low water mark or 100 rods (1650′), whichever is less. Once again, there is a public easement for fishing, fowling, and boating between high and low tide (anything below low tide is owned by the State out to 3 nautical miles I believe).

    • Anonymous

      I only have one thing to say: Indian Land Claims Settlement in the early eighties. Does anyone remember that?

  • Anonymous

    “Penobscot Nation”? Get serious.

    • Nathan Sockalexis

      Yes, “Penobscot Nation”.  the US Government Identifies us as Penobscot Nation.  Any questions?

      • Anonymous

        We can all sympathize with their frustrations contending with state bureaucracy, but Indian tribes are not sovereign nations no matter what they call themselves and that is not a solution to the problem.  There are no sovereign nations inside the US.  In Maine the recognized tribes have roughly the same self-governing status as counties.  The state, not counties or tribes, controls the rivers.

      • Jonathan Smith

        A nation proper must not be completely dependent upon another nation for it’s sustenance or it’s very sovereignty. The “Penobscot Nation” identifies it’s historical roots as a tribe but to suggest that the Penobscot Nation is truly autonomous and “free” from the United States Government when it’s very existence is dependent on taxpayer dollars is ludicrous and delirious at best. Your freedoms stem from being an American citizen – had not America been settled in the 1600’s it’s hard to say where the “Penobscot Nation” would be today – it’s unlikely it would be running a prosperous state without the help of a modern Westernized society Everything you have is from either your hard work or someone helping you out along the way. We are Americans first and any perceived sovereignty outside the confines of federal law is a dillusional pipe dream played out in classrooms by liberal teachers with no grasp of reality. The same laws of the land apply to you and I equally. Nation within a nation may make for good hyperbole and activist talk but it’s not the reality of the world.

        • Anonymous

          If I recall correctly, the United States Government entered into dozens of treaties with numerous Indian tribes, and have benefited enormously from the land they acquired in those treaties (almost the entire land mass of the United States!) and in those treaties they had to make certain provisions, too.   In most cases they never fulfilled their end of the bargain.  
          One thing is for sure, this is a good opportunity for real education.  
          Don’t forget that during the “settlement era” the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy befriended many colonists, helping them to survive in this harsh climate, showing them what native foods to eat.  They were also instrumental in defending this territory during the American REvolution, with their intimate knowledge of the waterways and land.  They understood that Britain was trying to prevent the colonists’ freedom, and they stood by and fought side by side with the colonists.
          Sovereignty doesn’t have to be a scary word.  It just means freedom to govern oneself, which the Penobscots had been doing for thousands of years before America was “settled in the 1600’s.” 

        • Nathan Sockalexis

          So do you suggest that we as Native People should just assimilate  into the “Westernized society”?  We’ve been a Democracy before the the European, or “Westernized Societies” influenced our culture..  Like ALL cultures from around the world, they do adapt, and as most have done through out history, we did that.. Also to say that our existence is dependent on being an American Citizen, that is true… But keep in mind, Penobscots fought in every war since the American Revolution on the side of Freedom and Liberty.  We fought to EARN our freedom from the same tyranny that the Colonist did.  If it wasn’t for a group of Passamaquoddy Indians, the Battle of Machias may have had a different outcome.  The Tribes in Maine have always been good American Citizens, even while being crapped on by the local, state and federal entities.  Is it too much to ask to have access to the waters our Ancestors fished and lived off of for many generations before the arrival of the “Westernized society”.  I really don’t think so, every attempt for projects to assist our Tribe from getting off the dependency of the Government have been struck down by the voters of Maine.   As for your whole liberal education, allow me to explain something to you about myself.  I am a Conservative, I 100% agree with you on the liberal education and such, I also agree that as a “minority”, I do NOT feel entitled to anything, I earn what I have.  Granted I live on the reservation now, I take advantage of certain privileged that people on the other side of the bridge don’t get.  But I don’t feel entitled to these privileges.  

          Really, if you take anything out of this, please take this, The Local, State and Federal Governments have made treaties and agreements with the Tribe, all we ask is they continue to Honor them.. 

          • Anonymous

            There isn’t and never has been an agreement to grant the tribe control over the river, let alone be a sovereign nation within the US.  We are all stuck with heavy handed bureaucracy in Augusta, that is not a problem specific to the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes.  The long sequence of law suits and protests over an imagined national sovereignty within Maine and the US is not going to solve anything.

    • Anonymous

      A very ignorant statement. You should feel ashamed. 

      • Anonymous

        You’re equivocating.  He properly rejected the activist notion that tribes are sovereign nations within the country.

    • Anonymous

      ..

  • Anonymous

    A very ignorant statement. You should feel ashamed. 

  • Anonymous

    If they spent as much time trying to work as they do trying to sue somebody the passamaquoddy’s would be rich

    • Anonymous

      In Maine?

    • Anonymous

      This article is about the Penobscot tribe. Every member of my family has a job and works very hard. The majority of them hold a college degree. Most of the Passamaquoddy people that I know work as hard as people in any other Maine community.

  • Anonymous

    Let the Penobscot nation   fish , perhaps they can begin to wean off the  United States nations taxpayers dole.  

  • Anonymous

    Penobscot Indian Nation, are you serious 10fu? Yeah they have been living in the area for over 4,000 years…long before you or any other “american” ever came along. The complete ignorance of this community and the people who post on this blog everyday never ceases to amaze me…if they spent as much time working? I personally know many hardworking families that live on that island and your words are offensive mainlymainebangor…in fact I seem to continually read ignorant comments from you all the time..makes me wonder how much work are you doing in a day???

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people in Maine are working and getting nowhere under the taxes and controls progressively accumulated for decades.  But the fact that Indians lived on the continent for four millenia in conditions of primitive, stone age tribalism before Europeans arrived is irrelevant today.  So did every other “race” live in primitive conditions for some period of time.  That Indians did not happen to have  or did not allow exceptional individuals to blaze new trails of progress into more advance civilization does not negate the fact that those of Indian descent have the same general capacities as any other human being, can do just as well as anyone, and have the same rights as individuals that are supposed to be recognized in today’s society.

  • Anonymous

    Lots of nasty comments.  Native Americans have been shafted by people in this State forever.  Heaven forbid they own a casino!  Our previous governor wouldn’t support it when they tried but now we have one in Bangor.  Does the previous Governor have a financial stake in the Bangor casino?   Hmmmm.
    I wish all people treated the environment and wildlife like Native Americans!  Have a little respect.  

    • Jonathan Smith

       Free college, free welfare, free medical – yeah Native Americans REALLY struggle in this day and age. Give me a break. Some of my ancestors were killed by Native Americans in New England but you don’t see me screaming for reparations because someone got scalped. Who gives a crap what someone’s skin color is. Get a job and stop clinging to a 300 year old victim complex. Everyone wants a free check and special status as a minority of some sort.

      • Anonymous

        And ignorance persists in the comments section. We took their lands, abused their people, cheated and stole from them for centuries. In modern times, we forced them into reform homes and foster care and sent them off to reservations. I’m sure you wouldn’t be thrilled if I forced you to live somewhere and then took your children from you solely because I thought they’d do better in a white family’s home. I think some free college is the least we can do. 

        • Anonymous

          There have been many lands and many people conquered over the centuries. It’s war, that’s what happens. These people are no more native than anyone else who’s family has been here for centuries. There are no full blooded Penobscots anymore.
          They go right from one thing to another to see what they can get from the citizens. They were instrumental in getting clean power generating dams removed so the fish could swim further up the river. Now we are stuck with useless windmills. 
          The government has set them up with business after business, and every one of them has failed.
          It may be possible that some people’s “ancestors” owed the Indians “ancestors” a debt. But nobody alive today owes any Penobscot alive today anything.

          • Anonymous

            It’s a shame how these sorts of news stories always bring out the worst in people.
            It sounds like you’ve been misinformed about a lot of what you write.

          • Anonymous

            Please share with us the businesses that the government has set up for the tribes. 

          • Anonymous

            How about Olamon Industries, the mail order pharmacy.
            Would you like to tell me that these had no government assistance? How about the DOD facility that’s being worked on now? Any special considerations for Indians with this project?

        • Anonymous

          Agreed – Free college in exchange for the stolen land that the colleges sit upon, and benefit enormously from.  Except college isn’t “free” just because one is Indian.  That’s just one of the many common stereotypes that persist and get perpetuated in these sorts of forums. Some colleges waive some fees and offer some scholarships in certain cases, just the same as they do with numerous other scholarships which they offer to various categories of people.

      • Anonymous

        Jealous much?

      • Anonymous

        In the coastal community where I live a large number of people get welfare in every form, free medical coverage and also get free education through the various educational programs available to the unemployed low income person. 

        It was actually the white man who had a bounty for Penobscot/Passamaquoddy scalps. That included the scalps of women and children. 

        No other cultural group in the United States can say that they have inhabited this land for more than 10,000 years. No other cultural group in the US had their land stolen from them. Then they were placed on the worst possible pieces of land and expected to support themselves on those barren pieces of land after thousands of years of being hunters and gathers.

        I know of few Maine Native Americans who want to sit around and “get a check,” but they instead would much rather have employment. Every venture that they attempt to bring employment to the tribes is shot down by our state and local government, and the citizens of Maine.

        I actually know more people in my coastal community who have been on welfare for generations with no intention of ever getting off it, than I do people from my tribe.

  • Anonymous

    Hope they do better than supporting PRRT in the Howland Project.I always thaought Native Americans would not want invasive species. I guess the Federal Gov. should not have given them that last big grant. I thought they signed the settlement.

  • Anonymous

    What I find interesting is that people are so intolerant of others’ opinions!   When some disagree with the ‘trolls’ on this forum the ‘trolls’ choose to attack personally instead of intelligently.   Oops, did I just fall into that category, my bad, lol!!

  • Anonymous

    When is the last time sustenance fishing was conducted on the Penobscot?  Been doing fine with out it for a while now, just saying.  Can’t help but wonder if it is a ploy to exploit species in the river for profit, which would not be sustenance fishing.

    • Anonymous

      Probably before industry started dumping toxic carcinogens into the water and damming up the river. 

  • Lord Whiteman

    I am glad to see the Penobscot people keeping their culture alive.  Once you lose your heritage, it is almost imposable to find again.

  • Anonymous

    So does that mean that pleasant point tribe think they own the ocean?? Come on, I WOULD BET MONEY THAT SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY ARE IMPORTANT WAS STOP, TICKETED BY THE REAL WARDENS AND NO WANTS TO MAKE A ISSUE “THIS IS MY LAND” AND YOU CANT DO THIS. 

  • Anonymous

     they have riparian water rights that extend from their land out to the center line of the river.
    whoever owns the land on the opposite bank owns outwards as well.  If they own the land on both sides of the river, then they may have legal jurisdiction over the entire section their land borders.  as they are considered a sovereign nation. just my 2 bits

  • Anonymous

    I understand the issue that they are raising but what makes me scratch my head sometimes is the fact that this independent  sovereign nation, as they want to be, seems to still rely on outside State or local Government services.  When have you seen this group supply extensive manpower for body recoveries in the waters with dive teams and aircraft (Hint Maine Warden Service or Maine State Police), how often does local law enforcement have to assist the Island with extensive investigations or back up (Hint Old Town PD, Sheriffs Office and Maine State Police) and who conducts homicide or Arson Investigations on the Island (Hint: The State of Maine).  If this is the case then we should be billing them for these services.  Should all work out in the end, right?    

  • Anonymous

    Give em the river , take away all federal and state aid.

    • Anonymous

      Then the same should hold true for every Maine community…take away all federal and state aid.

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