Maine lawmakers have new Indian member in midst

January 2, 2012 - 3:25 PM

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers will have a new member in their midst when they return to the State House for their 2012 session. David Slagger becomes Maine's first Maliseet Indian legislator when he takes a seat in the House.

The University of Maine doctoral candidate will be sworn in by Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday.

An historian says Maine is unique among the states in having Indian tribal representatives. The Indian representatives are selected internally by their tribes.

Two of Maine's four tribes — the Penobscots and Passamaquoddies — are already represented in the Legislature; the Micmacs are not.

Graydon Nicholas, New Brunswick's lieutenant governor and a member of the Maliseet Tribe, plans to attend Slagger's swearing-in ceremony.