Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 Statement on Signing H.R. 7919 Into Law.
I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 7919, the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980.
In March of 1977, I appointed retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice William Gunter to review the land claims of the Indian tribes of Maine. Those claims, which were based on alleged violations of Federal law, had clouded the title of some two-thirds of the State of Maine, an area in which some 350,000 people reside. Justice Gunter recommended that a settlement of the claims be negotiated rather than litigated because of the length of time litigation would require and the hardship that an extended period of clouded land titles would impose on the people of Maine.
In line with Justice Gunter's recommendation, I directed that officials of my administration work with representatives of the tribes, the State of Maine, and the major landowners involved to negotiate a settlement of the claims. I am pleased that a reasonable compromise has been reached which reflects the unique circumstances involved and avoids an extensive and damaging period of litigation.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 7919 is Public Law 96-420, approved October 10.
Jimmy Carter, Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 Statement on Signing H.R. 7919 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250988