Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

A step of healing

Maine should recognize the Wabanaki Tribes’ inherent sovereignty — just as the U.S. and every other state does with the other 570 federally-recognized tribes across the country.

In Augusta last week, I spoke at a press conference with the Wabanaki Alliance to bring attention to legislation that would do just that, which over 3,600 people watched via the livestream and recording. I shared why Maine Conservation Voters and our more than 30 environmental, conservation, and public health partners in Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition — representing more than 120,000 Maine people — are putting our weight behind this effort.

The Wabanaki are the original people of this place. Over thousands of years, the plants, animals and other life have evolved with Wabanaki peoples’ harvesting and other practices, making those practices a vital part of the ecosystems. Restoring the Wabanaki Tribes’ full rights to manage their lands, waters, and resources is crucial to restoring biodiversity and will make those places more resilient to the compounding effects of climate change and environmental degradation. Those benefits will not be isolated within Wabanaki territories, but will spread through neighboring environments and benefit us all.

The Wabanaki long predate the U.S. and have inherent rights to self-govern. Maine’s lawmakers should support legislation that restores Wabanaki tribal sovereignty. This will be a step of healing — both for our relationships with each other and with the land. It will make us stronger in the face of our common challenges and will benefit all of our children.

Abigail Bradford

Outreach Manager

Maine Conservation Voters

Old Town

Let all voters vote in primaries

Polling in recent years has shown that 86 percent of Americans believe our government is broken. Forty-three percent of us, including 50 percent of millennials, have identified as politically independent — they do not wish to be members of any of the existing parties. Yet they are our future. So it’s no wonder that 70 percent of Americans support open primaries. Our legislators should, too.

Primaries are conducted with taxpayer money. The closed presidential primaries of 2020, for example, cost taxpayers across the country a quarter billion dollars — yet left out nearly 30 million voters. That’s un-American. No one should be required to join a political party to vote.

Here in Maine, establishing semi-open primaries would bring us one step close to a true democracy. I urge our legislators to support LD 231 to establish semi-open primaries. Let’s let all voters vote!

George Simonson

Harpswell

One recycling solution

Regarding the “Recycling solution” letter of April 28, I also receive the BDN paper in its lovely assortment of colorful plastic bags. Unfortunately, we don’t have a dog anymore, but I can safely say that those bags are perfect for animal waste.

In Eastport, we have three metal boxes on poles in our little downtown area that are intended to dispense poop bags. They were empty for awhile last year, and I thought it would be helpful to replenish them with the BDN bags. I check them periodically and refill when necessary. So there’s one solution!

Barbara Smith

Eastport