Chiefs who addressed the House and Senate after their State of the Tribal Nations address with Speaker of the House Talbot and President of the Senate Jackson. The Chiefs are Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Indian Nation; Chief Rena Newell of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik; Chief William Nicholas, Sr., of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Motahkmikuk;  Chief Edward Peter Paul of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs; and Sabattis.MARCH 22, 2023

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) announced that the Maine State Historic Preservation Office and four tribal communities have received a total of $1,309,044, 30 percent more than last year, from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund. 

“Maine’s history began thousands of years ago as the homeland of the Wabanaki.  Maine’s tribal communities have a rich culture and a proud heritage, and this funding will support their efforts to pass down their intricate artwork, unique languages, and other traditions to younger generations,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement.  “In addition, this investment by the National Park Services will help the State Historic Preservation Office continue its historical preservation and education. The office identifies, evaluates, and protects Maine’s significant cultural resources and is well deserving of this funding.”

The funding was allocated as follows:

  1. The Maine State Historic Preservation Office received $877,873. 
    • The Passamaquoddy Tribe received $117,521.
    • Penobscot Nation received $113,769.
    • Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians received $103,705.
    • Mi’kmaq Nation received $96,176.

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers assure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act related to road, school, housing and economic development construction; they provide technical assistance for Native language conservation; they operate tribal museums, archives, and conduct research; and work with repatriation initiatives, to name a few, according to the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.

According to the National Park Service, state and tribal historic preservation partnerships supported through these funds were nationally responsible for surveying more than 8.5 million acres, listing more than 1,170 historic and tribal sites, and reviewing over 275,000 federal undertakings in 2021.

Since its establishment in 1977, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) has provided more than $2.7 billion in historic preservation grants to states, Tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Administered by the NPS, grant programs may be appropriated from the HPF by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources and history.