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Feds Intervene in Maine's River Dispute with Penobscot Nation
08/22/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter

The federal government has intervened in a lawsuit in Maine, taking the side of the Penobscot Indian Nation against the state. At issue is a dispute over the tribe's right to fish and hunt on their ancestral river - the Penobscot. In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Maine, Justice Department lawyers say the United States has a legal interest in protecting the borders of the Penobscot Nation. Deciding exactly where those borders are is the problem, with federal and state officials at odds over whether the river itself is part of the Penobscot Nation. Tom Porter talks with Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which has been following the story.

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Feds Intervene in Maine's River Dispute with Penob Listen

At the heart of the problem, Schalit says, are differing interpretations of a landmark piece of legislation passed 33 years ago aimed at establishing Indian rights.

Naomi Schalit is with the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. If no settlement is reached in the dispute over water rights, she says, the lawsuit is expected to go to trial in August 2014.



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