INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine — Tucked in the nation’s northeastern corner, the Passamaquoddy tribe’s ancestral land remains as it was centuries ago: Rugged and teeming with natural beauty and wildlife. Snow-covered in winter, springtime warmth reveals a rolling landscape, lakes and ponds — and dozens of bubbling springs.
But there is an ugly reality inside this idyllic community: Joblessness is rampant, making it hard for residents to feed their families. The tribe also needs more money to bolster public safety and other tribal services.
The leadership has been working on a bold plan to address these issues: Capitalize on the land’s pristine spring water by building a 123,000-square-foot bottling plant and selling the water to customers outside of the tribal land.