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Maine Policy Review


The Indigenous peoples of this area, now known as the state of Maine, hold a cultural framework embedded in our languages that reflects a sophisticated understanding of our intimate and complex connections with all people and with the environment in which we live. Our collective identity as Indigenous people resides here and provides a firm foundation for strong healthy communities. Author Gail Dana-Sacco explores the history of Maine’s Indigenous peoples and their interactions with the state of Maine over its 200-year history.


Dr. Dana-Sacco (Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik), Principal, Wayfinders for Health and Director Emerita of the Wabanaki Center at the University of Maine is an Associate Faculty member at Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.

Dr. Dana-Sacco earned her PhD in Health and Social Policy at the Johns Hopkins University conducting her dissertation research, “Applying Passamaquoddy Wisdom to Contemporary Tribal Health Decision-making” in her home community at Sipayik.

Her research interests include: indigenous languages and health; the structural basis of health inequities including the effect of the tribal-state relationship on health; and the impact of individual and collective injury, especially violence, on tribal communities in both the current and historical context.

Explore the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language.

This Essay is brought to you for free and open access by DigitalCommons@UMaine.



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