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The first recorded Native American songs were captured in Calais in 1890

In 1980, Passamaquoddy tribal historic preservation officer Donald Soctomah heard some very old audio recordings of Passamaquoddy songs and stories for the first time. They were filled with static and it was hard to make out the words, but the wax cylinders — the first widely available technology used to record sound — were recorded in Calais in 1890, making them the oldest known recordings of any Native American words or music and the first-ever anthropological field recordings.

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Passamaquoddy Tribe

8/1/2019

article After More Than A Century, Recordings From The Passamaquoddy Tribe Are Being Restored And Shared
(Maine) -- Nearly 130 years ago, an anthropologist visited Calais and recorded songs, words and stories from members of the Passamaquoddy tribe. For years, these field...

7/29/2019

article Passamaquoddy rely on new and old technology to reverse loss of language
(Maine) -- As a young boy, Donald Soctomah heard the Passamaquoddy language spoken all around him. At home, his grandmother, mother and older sisters were fluent....

4/30/2019

article Passamaquoddy police chief charged with emptying fellow elver fisherman’s net
(Maine) -- The police chief of the Passamaquoddy tribe’s community at Indian Township is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge in Hancock County for allegedly...

3/26/2019

article Bill would authorize third Maine casino, run by state’s tribes
(Maine) -- Maine lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow the state’s tribes to operate a casino, a measure drawing a lot of opposition. The proposal would...

2/10/2019

article The first recorded Native American songs were captured in Calais in 1890
(Maine) -- In 1980, Passamaquoddy tribal historic preservation officer Donald Soctomah heard some very old audio recordings of Passamaquoddy songs and stories for the...

1/30/2019

article The Passamaquoddy Reclaim Their Culture Through Digital Repatriation
(New York) -- In late September, I travelled to Indian Township, Maine, the largest of three Passamaquoddy reservations, for the tribe’s annual ceremonial-days...

12/24/2018

article Local businesses cautiously optimistic about proposed Norfolk casino
(Virginia) -- A bare spot along Norfolk's Elizabeth River could soon be home to a casino, resort and spa, thanks to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. The proposed location...

12/20/2018

article Passamaquoddys pursue internet data center to create quality jobs
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy tribe at Indian Township is planning to build a state-of-the-art data center that is expected to create well-paying jobs and diversify the...

12/19/2018

article Passamaquoddy Tribe awarded federal funds for study
(Maine) -- Federal funding is on the way to help the Passamaquoddy Tribe with an economic impact study. The $100,000 will pay for a study on a potential hydrogen-powered...

12/18/2018

article Five U.S. nationals arrested, fined for fishing in Passamaquoddy Bay
(Canada) -- A U.S. Passamaquoddy fisherman says he doesn't go out of his way to fish lobster in Canadian waters. But the border is just a mile away from his reserve...

8/29/2018

article BLOG: An Upriver Passamaquoddy by Allen Sockabasin is Inspiring
(Maine) -- An Upriver Passamaquoddy, published by Tilbury House, is both inspiring and troubling. But I must begin by thanking Allen Sockabasin for writing this book...

5/9/2018

article How a Passamaquoddy musician made language preservation his life’s work
(Maine) -- Allen Sockabasin, born at Peter Dana Point (Md-doc-mig-goog), grew up on the Passamaquoddy reservation at Indian Township, steeped in the traditions and...

11/11/2017

article 'Right thing to do': Passamaquoddy granted special moose hunt in New Brunswick
(New Brunswick) -- The Passamaquoddy people of New Brunswick and Maine will be able to hunt seven moose in the province this month, under a special agreement with the...

7/20/2017

article With a market glut, Passamaquoddy Tribe won't harvest its blueberries
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe's company, Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Co., won't be harvesting its more than 1,000 acres of blueberries, due to a market...

5/16/2017

article Passamaquoddy Tribe generates revenue through carbon credits
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe recently received a "Project Developer of the Year" award from the Climate Action Reserve for generating the most carbon...

4/29/2017

article Passamaquoddy Tribe Named Project Developer of the Year
(Maine) -- In exchange for maintaining a healthy forest, the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine is being rewarded by environmental polluters more than 3,000 miles away....

3/1/2017

article Passamaquoddy Tribe opposes plan to open dam on St. Croix River
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe is preparing a brief opposing a plan to permanently remove the gates to a St. Croix River dam at East Grand Lake. The dam, in place in...

11/22/2016

article Recalled Passamaquoddy Chief Blames Opioid Crackdown for Ouster
(Maine) -- The former chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point says he was recalled in a special election earlier this month because he was cracking down on a...

11/9/2016

article Tribe: Moore recalled as Passamaquoddy chief at Pleasant Point
(Maine) -- Voters of this Passamaquoddy Tribe community have recalled their chief, elevating the vice-chief into the top elected post, according to a prepared statement...

7/18/2016

article Nearly 100 years later, Passamaquoddy Army veterans honored for service
(Maine) -- Ninety-nine years after six young men volunteered to fight the Imperial German Army in World War I, their families on Sunday received the official recognition...

3/2/2016

article Tribal members live on through refurbished museum mannequins
(Maine) -- A female figure kneels over baskets, long straw in her hands. Her blue striped dress and straw hat are representative of what and when she depicts:...

1/28/2016

article Operator of Passamaquoddy Tribe’s treatment plant sentenced to 10 days in jail for illegally dumping sewage
(Maine) -- A Washington County man has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for dumping about 96,000 gallons of raw sewage from a wastewater treatment plant in Indian...

12/24/2015

article Passamaquoddy Tribe Looking to Children to Preserve Language
(Maine) -- Languages across the world are disappearing as fewer people learn to speak, read, and write the words of their ancestors. Research suggests that roughly half...

11/22/2015

article Passamaquoddy tribe has entered a new chapter of chaos
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe has entered a new chapter of political instability as the senior elected officials at one of its two reservations have turned on one...
article LORING: Changing Lives With Personal Songs
(Maine) -- I was surfing the net one day and came across a BBC Video on You Tube of a young man named David Hodges. The video showed how David went to various Cree...

11/16/2015

article Disputes over fishing, casinos latest threats to relationship between tribes, state of Maine
(Maine) -- Eighty-one years after a neglected tribal water supply caused a devastating outbreak of typhoid fever and a century after the state outlawed spearfishing of...
article Tribal Leaders: Tensions with State High
(Maine) -- The chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point says his tribe's rift with Maine officials is deeper than it has ever been and he's skeptical...

10/28/2015

article Passamaquoddy tribe to launch language immersion program
(Maine) -- A three-year, $750,000 federal grant from the Administration of Native Americans is aimed at helping the Passamaquoddy revive their language. The tribe will...

8/6/2015

article Prosecutors drop case against Passamaquoddy elder arrested while trying to recall tribal leaders
(Maine) -- State prosecutors have dropped their case against a Passamaquoddy tribal elder who was arrested and deposed from the tribal council while leading an effort to...

5/13/2015

article Maine, tribes to try again on proposal for fishing pact
(Maine) -- Maine legislators and representatives for four American Indian tribes are set to meet again about the tribes' call for shared management of commercial...

5/12/2015

article Maine American Indian tribe says it will defy state's order restricting use of baby eel nets
(Maine) -- Leaders of a Maine American Indian tribe say they will keep allowing members to use certain kinds of fishing gear to catch elvers despite an emergency rule...
article Passamaquoddy tribe and state trying to find middle ground
(Maine) -- Passamaquoddy tribal leaders and the Department of Marine Resources met Tuesday morning, trying to reach some common ground about a new emergency rule.
article State agency, Passamaquoddys meet over latest elver feud
(Maine) -- The head of the state Department of Marine Resources met Tuesday with local Passamaquoddy Tribe officials to discuss concerns over elver fishery management...

5/7/2015

article State battles Passamaquoddies over elver fishing
(Maine) -- The Department of Marine Resources said the Passamaquoddies are again violating the rules that were created to restrict the amount of eels that can be caught...

3/13/2015

article Maine tribe takes hit under governor’s plan to reform General Assistance
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy would lose more state aid per capita than Portland, amid questions about high spending and alleged misuse of funds.

12/16/2014

article Passamaquoddy musician lets each flute “tell its own story”
(Maine) -- Rolfe Richter is a 45-year-old Passamaquoddy musician whose flute music led to our meeting about a year ago at the annual Maine Indian Basketmakers sale at...

11/23/2014

article Ex-pharmacy tech in Pleasant Point pleads guilty to drug, food stamp fraud charges
(Maine) -- A former pharmacy technician at the health center at the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation in Perry waived indictment Tuesday and pleaded guilty...
article Pharmacy Technician Pleads Guilty To Drug Thefts
(Maine) -- A former pharmacy technician at a health center on the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Pleasant Point reservation has pleaded guilty to stealing prescription...

10/28/2014

article Ex-Passamaquoddy finance director sentenced in embezzlement
(Maine) -- The former finance director for the Passamaquoddy Tribe, who was fired in 2013 for lying about his identity, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in...
article Former Finance Director to Prison for Stealing $20K+ from Tribe
(Maine) -- The former finance director of the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Pleasant Point reservation is going to prison for a year-and-a-half for stealing more than $20,...

10/10/2014

article Don Gellers, counsel to Passamaquoddy tribe, dies in New York at 78
(Maine) -- Rabbi Tuvia Ben-Shmuel-Yosef, who was an attorney when he represented the Passamaquoddy tribe as it undertook its groundbreaking land-claims settlement...

10/8/2014

article Passamaquoddy youth leader to attend world summit
(Maine) -- Passamaquoddy Youth Leader George Soctomah Neptune has been nominated to attend the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates: Global Youth Indaba, Oct. 11-...

9/4/2014

article Controversial ex-tribal chief ‘Billy’ Nicholas reelected at Indian Township
(Maine) -- William “Billy” Nicholas, the controversial former chief of the Passamaquoddy reservation at Indian Township, has been reelected to that position.

9/2/2014

article Passamaquoddy tribal official facing OUI charge
(Maine) -- The vice-chief of Indian Township, one of two Passamaquoddy Tribe communities in Washington County, is facing a drunken driving charge in Hancock County.

8/10/2014

article $800,000 federal grant to aid at-risk children awarded to Passamaquoddy Tribe
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe has been awarded the first of what could be several federal grants totaling millions of dollars aimed at coordinating and bolstering...

8/8/2014

article Passamaquoddy tribe to receive grant to fight substance abuse
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy tribe will receive $800,000 in federal money to improve services for children and families who have a high risk of substance abuse.

8/3/2014

article Family’s quest for justice still burns, a half-century later
(Maine) -- On a dark November evening in 1965, Passamaquoddy tribal constable Raymond Moore was making his regular rounds of the Pleasant Point reservation when the...

8/2/2014

article Maine Paper Completes 29-Part Series on Passamaquoddy Tribe
(Maine) -- A Maine newspaper’s unprecedented 29-part series on the triumphs and tragedies of the Passamaquoddy people concluded on Sunday, July 27.

7/25/2014

article UNSETTLED 27: Tribe’s forests, a crucial resource, fall prey from within
(Maine) -- The forest, in theory, should be the tribe’s most important legacy of the Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980. Managed correctly, the...
article UNSETTLED 28: Reservation leadership changes, though little else does
(Maine) -- It all caught up to Billy Nicholas in the end. The Indian Township governor had lost support on account of the various controversies during his administration...

7/23/2014

article UNSETTLED 26: Tribe’s dealings cloaked in secrecy, and distrust festers
(Maine) -- Because the Passamaquoddy lack a tribal constitution, an independent judiciary and clear delineations between what matters can be appealed to state or federal...
article Passamaquoddy, Maine communities get federal help
(Maine) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will give $251,000 in grants and loans to three rural Maine communities and the Passamaquoddy tribe for local projects.

7/22/2014

article UNSETTLED 25: Tribe reels as its own leaders ‘become our oppressors’
(Maine) -- In the continued absence of a constitution to ensure government accountability, an atmosphere of fear and intimidation took hold on the Indian Township...

7/19/2014

article UNSETTLED: Disagreement over powers pollutes state, tribal relations
(Maine) -- The historic land claims settlement agreement not only helped create a harmful legal vacuum within the Passamaquoddy tribe, it also put Maine tribes and the...

7/18/2014

article UNSETTLED: As reservation’s rule of law erodes, abuses thrive
(Maine) -- With the constitution stillborn, the tribal courts out of the picture and outside authorities not wishing to intrude on internal tribal matters, the stage was...
article Cleaves on Maine Commission Report: Committed to Discussion on Sharing
(Maine) -- Following a new report that says Maine lawmakers violated the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act with the passing of a law this spring that limited the...

7/16/2014

article Panel finds Maine Legislature erred in passing laws on tribal fishing rights, calls parties back to negotiating table
(Maine) -- The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission released a report Friday in which it found the Maine Legislature circumvented the amendment process set forth in the...
article State Failed To Work With Tribe In Marine Fish Laws, Says Report
(Maine) -- A commission of state and tribal representatives has found that the state of Maine did not always follow prescribed processes in its dealings with the...

7/14/2014

article The Indians’ trusted adviser capitalizes on his role
(Maine) -- After winning the Maine tribes’ land claims case, Tom Tureen became a celebrity in Indian country. His 1975 victory in Passamaquoddy v. Morton –...

7/7/2014

article CHAPTER 9: ‘All the Passamaquoddy want is what belongs to them’
(Maine) -- After five years of research, Don Gellers felt he had cracked the Passamaquoddy’s land claims case. The state, he believed, owed the tribe in excess of...

7/4/2014

article CHAPTER 6: Passamaquoddy’s legal champion becomes a target
(Maine) -- By the time Peter Francis’ assailants walked free, Don Gellers had made plenty of enemies. After his first meeting with tribal Gov. George Francis in...
article CHAPTER 7: The Passamaquoddy’s land claim case takes shape
(Maine) -- Despite distractions, financial uncertainty and official harassment, Don Gellers was building a compelling land claims case for his Passamaquoddy clients.

6/30/2014

article Press Herald reporter talks about Passamaquoddy Tribe
(Maine) -- A half century ago, events happened on the Pleasant Point Indian Reservation that are still being felt to this day. They involve an unlikely collaboration...

6/26/2014

article Ex-Passamaquoddy finance director pleads guilty to stealing $20,000 from tribe
(Maine) -- The man charged with stealing $20,000 from the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to federal charges of...

6/25/2014

article Former Passamaquoddy Tribe State Rep. Accused of Illegal Eel Fishing Enters Plea
(Maine) -- A former Passamaquoddy Tribe representative pled not guilty Wednesday to illegal elver fishing charges in New York.

5/20/2014

article Passamaquoddy craftsman maintains tribe's traditions
(Maine) -- Master craftsman David Moses Bridges, an award-winning artist receiving national attention for his skill, works with birch bark to make shelters, canoes,...

5/19/2014

article Ex-Passamaquoddy finance director pleads not guilty to embezzling $20,000 from tribe
(Maine) -- The man accused of stealing $20,000 from the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point entered not guilty pleas Monday to four federal charges of theft and...

4/28/2014

article Elver charges challenged by tribal members
(Maine) -- Efforts by Passamaquoddy fishermen to help a tribe in New York state bring back its traditional eel fishery have led to felony charges against three tribal...

4/25/2014

article Tribal official facing charges in NY vows to take elver debate beyond Maine
(Maine) -- For the past several years, there has been a simmering dispute — sometimes boiling — between Maine state officials and the Passamaquoddy Tribe...

4/13/2014

article Maple syrup may sweeten Passamaquoddy tribe’s fortunes
(Maine) -- The members of the Passamaquoddy tribe have looked under their feet for a bottled water plant and have turned to the sky for a wind farm.
article Tribe banks on syrup for sweet relief from poverty
(Maine) -- An American Indian tribe is hoping that sweet success with a maple syrup operation in the woods of Maine will help to counter soaring joblessness and poverty.

4/9/2014

article Passamaquoddy Vote to Amend Tribal Law for Individual Quota for Elvers
(Maine) -- The 2014 elver season officially started on Sunday. After several attempted negotiations with the state, the Passamaquoddy tribe voted last week for...

4/4/2014

article Kennebunk explores relationship with Passamaquoddy tribe
(Maine) -- The town is exploring a sister city relationship with the Passamaquoddy tribe, which could provide unique development and cultural opportunities.
article Passamaquoddies agree to state terms on elver fishery
(Maine) -- Maine’s Passamaquoddy Tribe will abide by state fishing rules for the elver season that starts this weekend, a tribal chief said Friday, ending the...

3/27/2014

article Lawmakers sink Passamaquoddy bid to exempt tribal fishermen from individual elver catch quotas
(Maine) -- A last-minute bid by the Passamaquoddy Tribe to avoid a requirement to impose individual catch quotas on its licensed elver fishermen has come up short.

3/21/2014

article Passamaquoddy partnership is possible
(Maine) -- The board of selectmen, on Tuesday, March 11, voted to move forward with the prospect of becoming a sister city with the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian...
article Indian Tribe Unhappy With Elver Legislation
(Maine) -- The tribe negotiated a deal with the Maine Department of Marine Resources that called for the tribe to have an overall quota of 1,650 pounds, but no...
article Maine tribe unhappy with elver legislation, plans to return to Legislature
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy tribe, which believes natural resources belong to all tribal members and not individuals, is going to try to submit emergency legislation...
article Passamaquoddy tribe working to lift individual elver quotas
(Maine) -- Members of the Passamaquoddy tribe are submitting emergency legislation that seeks to lift individual fishing quotas for elvers.

3/18/2014

article Maine lawmakers unanimously OK giving state more authority over elvers
(Maine) -- Maine’s elver season will start two weeks late to give the state time to implement an emergency law enacted Tuesday by lawmakers that gives it more...
article Maine tribes resist elver bill that limits access
(Maine) -- Officials with an American Indian tribe in Maine are resisting an initiative to impose the same restrictions on all elver fishermen, saying a cap on...

3/7/2014

article House approves tribal gambling expansion
(Maine) -- The House of Representatives advanced three bills Thursday that would allow certain Indian tribes to open or expand gambling operations on their land.
article Maine lawmakers advance series of gambling bills
(Maine) -- Maine lawmakers have given new life to bills that would greatly expand gambling in the state. The Democratic-controlled House gave early approval to bills...

3/6/2014

article Maine House advances bills series of gambling bills for tribes
(Maine) -- Maine's American Indian tribes that have long seen gambling as the remedy for high unemployment and sluggish economic growth in their communities are a...
article Maine House Advances Flurry of Gambling Bills
(Maine) -- Maine's gambling industry came up big in the Maine House today, which gave initial approval to four different measures that would expand casino gaming all...
article Maine House advances three bills to allow casinos, electronic beano by Indian tribes
(Maine) -- With the approval of the House of Representatives, two of Maine’s Indian tribes are closer to realizing their longtime goals of opening their own...

2/23/2014

article Elver Fishing Dispute Between Maine, Tribes Escalates
(Maine) -- Tensions over elver fishing in Maine are high, a day after a legislative committee endorsed a bill detailing how Maine's tribes must manage their glass...

2/19/2014

article Panel endorses changes to tribal elver bill, deal ‘pretty much gone,’ says tribe
(Maine) -- Changes that a legislative panel made Wednesday to a tentative agreement state fisheries officials had made with the Passamaquoddy Tribe over elver fishing...
article Tribes criticize state’s reluctance over elver deal
(Maine) -- Indian officials have been strongly criticizing Maine officials since a preliminary agreement between state fisheries regulators officials and the...

2/15/2014

article Passamaquoddy Tribe upset after Maine Department of Marine Resources pulls back from elver deal
(Maine) -- Passamaquoddy Chief Joseph Socobasin said Friday the tribe was disappointed that the Department of Marine Resources withdrew its support Wednesday for a...

2/13/2014

article Maine regulators’ deal with native tribes over elver fishery collapses at key stage
(Maine) -- A tentative agreement between state regulators and Maine’s Native American tribes for the upcoming elver season collapsed Wednesday as state officials...

2/10/2014

article Passamaquoddy Tribe advancing plans for cleaner public water for Pleasant Point, Eastport
(Maine) -- The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point will be seeking a state permit to allow it to provide a new source of water to the Passamaquoddy Water District,...

2/5/2014

article Maine Attorney General Under Fire Over Elvers
(Maine) -- Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills has been taken to task by Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission Chairwoman Jamie Bissonette Lewey for raising a...

1/29/2014

article Maine lawmakers debate bill to tighten tribe-issued elver licenses
(Maine) -- The Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee continued deliberations on a bill that makes tribe-issued elver licenses invalid unless they are first...

1/27/2014

article Maine Grapples With Gambling Bills
(Maine) -- Maine’s two casinos say the market for slot machines is already saturated, but others wanting in on the action — including a horse racing track,...

1/13/2014

article Stakes are high for Oxford, Hollywood casinos in gaming expansion talks
(Maine) -- When Churchill Downs Inc. spent $160 million in cash to buy the Oxford Casino in the first quarter of 2013, Chairman and CEO Robert Evans characterized it as...
article Maine tribes clash with state over elver license bill
(Maine) -- State regulators are pushing for a limit on tribal claims to Maine’s lucrative elver fishery to avoid a repeat of the 2013 season, when law enforcement...

1/7/2014

article 24 Passamaquoddy elver cases dismissed in Hancock, Washington counties
(Maine) -- Two dozen members of the Passamaquoddy tribe who were charged by Maine Marine Patrol officers in Hancock and Washington counties with fishing for elvers...

8/7/2013

article Passamaquoddy reservation to host 48th annual Sipayik Indian Day Celebration
(Maine) -- The Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian reservation will host the 48th annual Sipayik Indian Day Celebration Aug. 8-12.

8/6/2013

article Passamaquoddy tribe hopeful casino legislation might finally pass
(Maine) -- The governor of the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe in Indian Township is hopeful that Maine’s political climate has changed enough to allow the Legislature...

7/29/2013

article Maine tribe pushes casino plan for Calais
(Maine) -- Maine's Passamaquoddy tribe plans to submit legislation in January that would allow it to seek a Washington County-only referendum for a racetrack casino...
article Passamaquoddy tribe hopes for better luck in future casino pitch
(Massachusetts) -- Members of the Passamaquoddy indian tribe are once again looking to get state approval to build a casino near Calais. Yet this time tribal leaders say...

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