January 28, 2019
350 Maine’s Statement of Opposition to Gerald Reid for Maine DEP Commissioner and Support for the Wabanaki Confederacy
Image courtesy of ARRT! (Artists’ Rapid Response Team) arrteam.org.
After listening to many politically active Penobscot Nation members, 350 Maine reinforces its commitment to allyship with the Indigenous peoples of this country, especially the Wabanaki people, by opposing the nomination of Gerald Reid to be the Commissioner of the Maine State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Further, we call on the Mills’ administration to:
1. Withdraw Mr. Reid’s nomination
2. Submit a new nomination of a qualified individual to head the DEP--one who doesn’t already have an adversarial relationship with the Wabanaki people; one who has some scientific background and will be in close contact with the Natural Resource Departments of all the Wabanaki tribes; and one who is informed on Wabanaki nations’ issues.
The time to heal historical oppression and suffering done to the Wabanaki people is now. It is past time to recognize the Wabanaki nations’ sovereignty and their stewardship of the land and water that is called Maine. 350 Maine acknowledges that the Department of Environmental Protection can have a huge impact on efforts of the Wabanaki Confederacy. And, in order to create an equitable environment for everyone, the Commissioner must respect tribal sovereignty. This respect seems questionable given that Reid represented the State in a case that would further erode inherent rights of the Penobscot Nation with the territorial taking of the river.
We are, overall, pleased with the Mills’ administration’s dialogue with regard to climate change and other environmental impacts. We hope her administration works to take immediate and aggressive action that is long overdue. The time for conversation, studies and diluted action has passed – we must confront the reality of climate change immediately.
We call for Janet Mills to listen to the Penobscot members speaking up in opposition to the nomination of Gerald Reid and rescind her nomination. The original stewards of this land deserve a DEP Commissioner who has not actively fought to further erode their sovereignty and one in whom they can trust.
Actions to Take:
Attend the Public Hearing Wednesday, January 30th, 10am-12pm
Maine State House, Burton M. Cross Office Building, Room 216, in Augusta
Testimony can be sent before 9am Wednesday morning, January 30th to:
Casey Milligan, Legislative Information Office, 100 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0100; 207-287-1692
Testimony email: [email protected]
This appointment will first need approval from the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and if approved there, will move forward for approval by the Senate. Please email members of the Committee (below) AND your Senator to 'ought not approve' Mr Reid's appointment:
Ralph Tucker (D) - (Chair) [email protected]
Brownie Carson (D) - (Chair) [email protected]
Justin Chenette (D) - [email protected]
Robert Foley - (R) - [email protected]
Mick Devin (D) - [email protected]
Jessica Fay (D) - [email protected]
Stanley Paige Ziegler Jr (D) - [email protected]
Lori Gramlich (D) - [email protected]
Daniel Hobbs (D) - [email protected]
Richard Campbell (R) - [email protected]
Peter Lyford (R) - [email protected]
Thomas Skolfield (R) - [email protected]
Chris Johansen (R) - [email protected]
Search by town to find your State Senator here
Dear Environment and Natural Resources Committee,
I am writing to urge you to vote ought not approve the appointment of Gerald Reid to be the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
In order to create an equitable environment for everyone, the Commissioner must respect tribal sovereignty. This respect seems questionable given that Reid represented the State in a case that would further erode inherent rights of the Penobscot Nation with the territorial taking of the river. Mr. Reid already has an adversarial relationship with the Wabanaki people and we all deserve someone who has not actively fought to further erode their sovereignty and can truly represent equity in the state of Maine.
Thank you for your consideration.
To Learn More:
Listen to Sunlight Media Collective’s “Penobscots Speak on Reid Nomination to DEP,” including comments from Chief Kirk Francis; Maria Girouaud, historian, Dawnland Environmental Defense; Sherri Mitchell, Indigenous Rights Attorney; and Maulian Dana, Ambassador; of the Penobscot Nation.