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A new podcast follows four native American tribes in Maine

A new podcast follows four native American tribes in Maine


Coming on September 2, 2021, from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, is a new podcast called Sovereign that tells the stories of four Native American tribes in Maine who are fighting to restore their rights and the state and local officials trying to stop them.

Tribal rights in Maine are more restrictive than in any other state because of the complicated factor that the tribes in Maine agreed to these restrictions nearly 40 years ago. A mix of treaty law, politics and economics led the tribes to make this bargain, but now the cracks are starting to show and tensions between Maine and the tribes within its borders are rising.

Sovereign was created by students at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies who chose to tell this story because “The story of the tribes within Maine’s borders is not only important for people living in Maine, but for everyone in the nation,” said Salt Institute Director Isaac Kestenbaum. “It’s a story about who has the land and who has the power.”

Students conducted original reporting and research and worked under the guidance of Planet Money host Robert Smith who also teaches journalism at Columbia University. Consultants included Maulian Dana, the Penobscot Nation Tribal Ambassador, and veteran Maine reporter Colin Woodard.

This is the first narrative podcast series to be produced by Salt.


By: Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
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