Our Past Projects
The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory traverses the landscape of deal-making and deal-breaking which has historically defined tribal-state relations in Maine. Spanning from the 1700's to the present-day legal battle being played out in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, the film illustrates the history of Penobscots' tenacious fight to retain their territory and their inherent, treaty-reserved sustenance fishing rights for future generations. The Penobscot: Ancestral River, Contested Territory features the Penobscot people’s traditional, centuries-long stewardship to ensure a healthy ecosystem for all of Maine. It tells the urgent, inspiring story of a struggle for justice and cultural survival in the face of an astonishingly open abuse of state power.
This short film highlights the alarming territorial removal attempt faced today by the Penobscot Indian Nation. In December of 2015, a U.S. District Court Judge decided on the highly controversial and historic case, Penobscot Nation v Janet Mills, Attorney General for the State of Maine. The Judge ruled in favor of the State of Maine’s opinion that the water of the Penobscot River, which flows through Penobscot Nation Tribal territory surrounding their reservation’s 200 islands, is NOT part of the Penobscot Nation. This directly contradicts previous treaty agreements, and threatens the Tribe’s deep ancestral and cultural ties to the river. Today, the Penobscot Nation and their allies continue this legal fight for the centuries-long Tribal stewardship of the River.