The five chiefs of Maine’s federally recognized tribes will address a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday for only the second time in state history and the first since 2002.

Chiefs Clarissa Sabattis of the Houlton Band of Maliseets, Edward Peter Paul of the Aroostook Band of Mi’kmaqs, William Nicholas of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, Rena Newell of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation will speak beginning at 10:45 a.m. at the State House in Augusta.

Gov. Janet Mills will not attend the address, citing a scheduling conflict. While she worked with the tribes to ink a landmark deal last year giving a new mobile sports betting market to the tribes, she has resisted their more sweeping sovereignty effort. Last week, her administration broke with other top Democrats to oppose a proposal that would print treaty obligations as part of the Maine Constitution.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...