Tribal sovereignty has long been an important issue for the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, a degree of which has been reached through legislation by the Federal Government. The governmental structure of the Tribe consists of a six (6) member Council
plus one (1) elected as Tribal Chief. CLARISSA SABATTIS
The leaders are chosen by the membership through an election process. The Tribal Chief serves a four (4) year term, while the Tribal Council members serve four (4) year, staggered terms.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: HBMI's Tribal Council is in the process of establishing a 501(c)(3) organization called the Maliseet Community Development Authority. This non-profit organization helps to enhance the well-being of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and its neighboring communities through initiatives in the following areas: Economic, Education, Culture, Social, Health & Wellness and Natural Resources. HBMI also employs a Tribal Planner and Economic Developer to attain the economic goals set by the Tribal Council.
Members of the HBMI Tribal Council as of July 1, 2023, are, Chief Clarissa Sabattis (seated); and from left, council members Joshua Toner, Crystal Tucker, Beth Aucoin, Cathy St. John, Suzanne Desiderio and John Flewelling.