Leslie Manning spoke on behalf of the Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy in support of funding for the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission on March 19, 2019.
I am Leslie Manning of Bath speaking today on behalf of the Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy, a Quaker public interest group focusing on right relationship with the Wabanaki of Maine and the fair and humane treatment of Maine's incarcerated people, their families and the staff who have care of them.
We encourage you to fully fund the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission so that it can be revived and become the robust site for dispute resolution and finding common ground that it was always intended to be. We understand that Governor Mills is diligently seeking to repopulate MITSC with state representatives and is committed to using this process to further open communication and work on restoring trust. That vital work cannot occur without raising the current flat funding in this budget.
If we are to move forward with love, not fear, cooperation not intimidation, and sovereignty not domination, we must commit ourselves with time, talent and treasure so that our actions are consistent with our words. WE respectfully request that as a State we operate in good faith and provide MITSC the necessary resources to help us repair our relationship with the Indigenous Nations of Maine. It is not the only way, but it is one clear and direct way to healing and wholeness.
Thank you for your time and your service to all the people of Maine.