The "Pain in the Ass" from Indian Island

Year 2021

Creator Sinduja Srinivasan


Story type Radio

Town Indian Island

County Penobscot


Florence Nicolar Shay made sure everyone knew – Native Americans were being denied the right to vote in Maine. She forced the Maine State Legislature to take up the issue in the 1950s. Eventually, the people spoke: in 1954, 79% of voters said yes to Native American suffrage. But the work didn’t end there – Native leaders have continued Florence’s campaign for Native rights. Like Donna Loring, a Penobscot’s Tribal Representative to the state legislature, who sponsored legislation for Native history to be taught in Maine public schools. With every legislative victory, Native American get one step closer to equality, and ultimately, sovereignty.

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