The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Sipayik has eliminated its chief for the fourth time in seven years, voting to recall Chief Rena Newell forward of a proposed assembly subsequent month with Gov. Janet Mills.

The ouster occurred as Penobscot, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq and Passamaquoddy leaders take into account whether or not to satisfy with the governor subsequent month at Plain Home for the primary “tribal state summit” mandated by the newest laws. Up to now, solely one of many leaders, William Nicholas, of Passamaquoddy Indian Nation, has dedicated to attending, the governor’s workplace stated Tuesday.

The Nov. 17 assembly could possibly be an opportunity for Native American leaders and the governor to clear the air earlier than lawmakers meet once more to debate a tribal sovereignty invoice within the new yr.

Language relating to Maine’s dedication to Native American tribes could possibly be added to the state structure

Tribes are indignant with Mills as a result of she vetoed a invoice supposed to make sure tribes obtain advantages from federal legal guidelines going ahead and opposed the earlier sovereignty proposal. In contrast to the remainder of the nation’s federally acknowledged tribes, Maine’s Native Individuals are topic to a unique land declare settlement, below which they’re handled like municipalities, topic to state legislation.

The governor’s workplace confirms that it is able to negotiate future laws. Emails to the Chiefs’ representatives weren’t instantly returned Tuesday.

“If the assembly occurs, I hope there will probably be open hearts and minds — and that we will have a significant dialog in regards to the upcoming laws,” Mulian Bryant, Penobscot Nation ambassador and president of the Wabanaki Coalition, stated Tuesday.

Rena Newell

Former Passamaquoddy Tribal Rep. Rena Newell, left, on the State Home in Augusta, Maine, April 12, 2022. (AP Photograph/Robert F. Bukaty, Recordsdata)

This would be the first annual assembly offered for in a legislation accredited final yr. This legislation offered on-line sports activities betting income to the tribes and established a course of for normal communication between the 4 federally acknowledged tribes and state authorities businesses.

Newell served lower than a yr earlier than being recalled the day after Indigenous Peoples’ Day, when tons of gathered exterior the Statehouse to rally assist for a vote scheduled for Nov. 7 to demand that tribal treaties and obligations be restored to printed copies of Maine’s Structure.

She beforehand served as a tribal consultant within the Maine Legislature when a sports activities betting proposal and one other invoice aimed toward making certain clear consuming water for the Sipike Reservation had been accredited. It was additionally lively within the efforts of Maine tribes to achieve better sovereignty from the state.

Bipartisan laws in Maine would permit Native Individuals to profit from federal legal guidelines regardless of land settlement

Bryant stated she considers Newell a pal, and stated she hopes for “therapeutic and peace” in her group. She stated she seems ahead to working with the brand new president.

Beneath the tribe’s structure, Vice President Amkoibosohis “Boss” Bassett is the elected chief. However Bassett might select to stay vice chairman, which might require an election.

An official stated a gathering was scheduled for Wednesday to find out management in Sibaek.


Earlier presidents recalled over seven years had been Fred Moore III in 2016, Vera Francis in 2017, and Marla Dana in 2020. Newell served in 2022.

Categorized in: