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Jesup Library Virtual Talk: “Small Tribe Left Behind”
April 14 @ 7:30 pm
The Jesup Memorial Library is hosting a virtual talk titled “Small Tribe Left Behind” with Richard Silliboy and the MDI Racial Equity Working Group on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Richard Silliboy, vice chief of the Mi’kmaq, is a tribal elder and a master basket maker. The Mi’kmaq, formerly known as the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, is based in Presque Isle. The Micmac tribe was not part of the negotiations between the federal government, Maine’s state government and the other Indigenous tribes that led to the Maine Settlement Act in 1980. Because the Mi’kmaq were not involved with the negotiations, they do not have any formal legal agreement with the state but are still considered bound by the Maine Settlement Act.
In the 1980s, the Mi’kmaq began to seek federal recognition as a tribe, and Silliboy served as a tribal representative. He met with legislators in Maine and Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal recognition. After a very slow process, and with help from Pine Tree Legal Assistance, the Mi’kmaq finally became a federally recognized tribe in 1991.
Silliboy has been on the Tribal Council several times since the early 1990s and has served as vice chief the past six years. He has testified in Augusta about a dozen times and has taken delegations to Washington, D.C., to meet with staff from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
For more information, call the library at 288-4245 or visit www.jesuplibrary.org.