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@example.com
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) Ralph.Tucker@legislature.maine.gov
Brownie Carson (D) - (Chair) Brownie.Carson@legislature.maine.gov
Justin Chenette (D) - Justin.Chenette@legislature.maine.gov
Robert Foley - (R) - Robert.Foley@legislature.maine.gov
Mick Devin (D) - Michael.Devin@legislature.maine.gov
Jessica Fay (D) - Jessica.Fay@legislature.maine.gov
Stanley Paige Ziegler Jr (D) - StanleyPaige.Zeigler@legislature.maine.gov
Lori Gramlich (D) - Lori.Gramlich@legislature.maine.gov
Daniel Hobbs (D) - Daniel.Hobbs@legislature.maine.gov
Richard Campbell (R) - Richard.Campbell@legislature.maine.gov
Peter Lyford (R) - Peter.Lyford@legislature.maine.gov
Thomas Skolfield (R) - Thomas.Skolfield@legislature.maine.gov
Chris Johansen (R) - Chris.Johansen@legislature.maine.gov
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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.