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HOULTON BAND OF MALISEET INDIANS AND STATE TO SIGN HISTORIC INDIAN CHILD WELFARE AGREEMENT
September 13, 2002
SEPTEMBER 14, 2002
SARAH TOMAH, Houlton Band of Maliseets 207-532-4273 x204 CHARLES DOW, Attorney General's Office 207-626-8577 NEWELL AUGUR, Department of Human Services 207-287-1927
On Monday September 16, 2002 at 1:00 p.m., the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the State of Maine will sign a groundbreaking Indian Child Welfare agreement. Tribal Chief Brenda Commander and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Tribal Council will host Attorney General Steven Rowe and Department of Human Services Commissioner Kevin Concannon at the Maliseet Indian Housing Authority Community Building at the Maliseet Riverside Village on the Foxcroft Road in Houlton. Members of the media and the public are invited to attend. For further information or directions please contact Sarah Tomah at the above number.
This is a comprehensive agreement that provides for the Maliseets to administer all aspects of child protective proceedings involving Maliseet children on its Tribal lands and to have a significant role in such proceedings off of its Tribal lands. The agreement follows the language and intent of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978,which requires the states to respect the cultural heritage of Indian children.
The Maliseets and the State were able to reach this historic agreement, after many months of negotiations, by steadfastly concentrating on how to reach a shared goal: the protection of Tribal children and their cultural heritage. Since the Maine Indian Land Claims Act of 1980, the Maliseets have established Tribal governmental departments of Health, Social Services, Education, Housing and Indian Child Welfare. The Maliseets are a federally recognized Indian tribe based in Houlton, Maine with 759 tribal members.