Why Maine’s tribal chiefs are worried about new push to restore their sovereignty

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AUGUSTA, Maine — Leaders of indigenous tribes in Maine are concerned Gov. Janet Mills’ delay on signing a criminal justice bill means they’ll encounter resistance from the Blaine House to legislative efforts to restore their broader sovereign rights.

The Democratic governor made repairing state relations with the tribes one of her priorities after taking office last year. She signed laws last year changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day and banned Native American mascots from public schools. She restored a state commission focused on tribal relations and appointed an adviser on tribal affairs…