Governor Mills issued the following statement recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
“Maine’s culture is in large part the direct result of those who first hunted, farmed, fished and occupied much of the land that we call our home. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, let us pay tribute to those who were the first stewards of this land we love; celebrate their many contributions to our great state; and recommit ourselves to our shared home and future, with respect and trust for one another.”
Governor Mills signed LD 179, An Act to Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, into law on April 26, 2019.
In addition to establishing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, since taking office Governor Mills has prohibited Native American mascots; reinvigorated the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission, strengthened water quality standards, provided Tribal Nations jurisdiction to prosecute non-Tribal members for domestic violence against its members, established a permanent appointment of a member of the Wabanaki Tribes to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, extended the time for Maine’s Tribal Nations to acquire land in trust, and introduced and signed into a law a resolve that authorized the State to convey to the Passamaquoddy Tribe an important parcel of land in Meddybemps.
The Mills Administration remains committed to finding common ground and making important progress with Maine’s Tribal Nations.