Friday, May 29, 2015

Maine: conflict with tribes heats up

This week the escalating tensions between the State of Maine and the state's Indian tribes reached a breaking point, with two of the three tribal representatives to the state legislature renouncing their seats in protest over the state's opposition to a wide range of tribal initiatives.

For yesterday's Portland Press Herald, I filed this story from the Penobscot reservation at Indian Island, where leaders of three of Maine's four federally-recognized tribes signed a declaration calling for Congressional intervention and saying they would no longer recognize the authority of the state to define their rights and powers.

For background on the conflict here in Maine, follow the links from these World Wide Woodard posts.

Photo: Tribal drummers at the Indian Island press conference. (c) 2015 Colin Woodard.


  1. Mr. Woodard, I had a question about demographics and your American Nations thesis. I've read that Alaska, the Dakotas, and Oklahoma are going to become majority or plurality Native American over the course of the 21st Century. Do you think those states will remain in their respective "nations" or become dominated by "First Nations" values ?

    1. An excellent question, though I hadn't heard that any of those states would have a Native American majority by 2100.

      The paradigm argues that the dominant culture almost always wins out over a three/four generation time horizon, so it would predict that native peoples will remain dominant in the First Nations portion of Alaska, but would adopt Far Western values over decades spent in the southern parts of the state. Whether that's what happens or not remains to be seen, of course, but the paradigm's predictive ability is surprisingly good.