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Sovereign

For around a hundred and fifty years in this country, Native tribes have been legally considered nations within a nation. But in Maine, the situation is more complicated. Maine has restricted the rights of the tribes within its borders more than any other state. And the amazing thing is, the tribes in Maine agreed to this. And pretty recently. 40 years ago, they signed a deal and surrendered a huge amount of power in exchange for money and land.Right now the tribes in Maine are fighting for new laws that would restore their powers of sovereignty. And Maine state politicians and town officials are trying to stop them.Produced by the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Brought to you in part by Bangor Savings Bank.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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Coming soon from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

1min

23 Aug 2021

Rank #1

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The Back of the Line

Sovereignty is the right of a people to govern themselves and make their own decisions. The tribes in Maine have always said they are inherently sovereign. But the powers of sovereignty, like the ability to make and enforce laws, can be taken away. The tribes in Maine have way fewer powers of sovereignty than an average tribal nation in the US.Brought to you in part by Bangor Savings Bank. Over the next four episodes, we’ll visit those tribes and hear their stories. The Passamaquoddy, the Penobscot, the Houlton Band of Maliseets and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs.But in this episode we’re focusing on the Passamaquoddy. And specifically, the Passamaquoddy reservation at Pleasant Point.

18mins

2 Sep 2021

Rank #2

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Maine Land

For around a hundred years in this country, native tribes have been considered nations within a nation. But in Maine the situation is way more complicated. Maine has restricted the rights of the tribes within its borders more than any other state. And here’s the kicker… the tribes signed off on this agreement. In this episode of Sovereign we ask: Why? After centuries of native tribes in Maine historically getting screwed by bad deals, and broken promises, subjected to racism and violence, why would these tribes give up a legitimate claim to their land?Brought to you in part by Bangor Savings Banks

22mins

9 Sep 2021

Rank #3

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A Deal Not Done

Throughout this podcast series, we’ve been talking about how the tribes of Maine signed away some of their sovereign powers in the 1980 settlement act. That is, except for the Micmacs, Richard’s tribe. The Micmac’s never signed onto the settlement act. But, not putting pen to paper is only half the story. Because the real question is: Were they better off not signing? Or, was it an even worse fate for the Micmacs than the tribes who did? Sometimes the only thing worse than a bad deal… is no deal at all.Brought to you in part by Bangor Savings Bank.

22mins

16 Sep 2021

Rank #4

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The Fight Back

For more than 150 years, Native tribes have been considered nations within a nation. But in Maine, the situation is far more complicated. Maine has restricted the rights of the tribes within its borders more than any other state. And the hardest thing is, the tribes in Maine agreed to this. 40 years ago… when they signed a deal to give away some of their rights. For money. On today’s episode… our final chapter… the tribes try to understand what that deal really meant… and they start to fight back. Brought to you in part by Bangor Savings Bank.

19mins

23 Sep 2021

Rank #5