Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Groups Rally for Clean Drinking Water for Passamaquoddy Tribe


Tuesday, April 12, 2022   

Groups rallying at the State House on Monday called on lawmakers and Gov. Janet Mills to pass and sign a bill to address the high levels of toxic chemicals in the drinking water at the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Reservation.

Students and tribal leaders from Pleasant Point, also known as Sipayik, were joined by hundreds of allies also supporting LD 906.

It would exempt the Passamaquoddy Water District from municipal taxes - it's the only water district in Maine that pays property taxes - and allow tribal members to source their water from alternative land parcels.

Chief of the Pleasant Point Tribal Government Maggie Dana said her community has lived generations with unsafe drinking water.

"Our culture is clear, water is life," said Dana. "And for the Passamaquoddy people, it is poison. As Passamaquoddy people, we want to take responsibility by regulating our drinking water on our own lands."

Opponents of the bill say water-system upgrades under way will solve the problem, but Dana noted this is one step in a larger battle for tribal sovereignty.

Since the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, Maine's five Wabanaki Nations have had less authority over natural resources, gaming and taxing than other Tribal Nations across the country.

Noela Altvater - a 19-year-old from Sipayik - noted that having clean water is possible, and will help reverse the negative health outcomes that Sipayik residents have been facing.

"The toxicity of our water has led to major health risks," said Altvater, "such as liver disease, respiratory issues, cancer and kidney problems."

Maulian Dana is a Penobscot Nation ambassador who's president of the Wabanaki Alliance. She said it should be obvious that clean drinking water is a basic right - but she notes Indigenous communities often have to say obvious statements and advocate for themselves.

"We should be outraged," said Dana. "We should be angry, we should be furious at a lot of the living conditions that we've had to put up with in our homeland. But instead, we rise above, we keep coming back in a respectable way. That power is love. "

Maine lawmakers are expected to vote on LD 906 this week, although the governor has expressed opposition. Tribal leaders hope she will sign the bill if it hits her desk.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021