Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Second Department or Program

Theater and Rhetoric


The ownership of the Penobscot River has been a hotly contested issue for many years, and the fight is currently culminating in a federal lawsuit. The Penobscot Nation has sued the state attorney general and the heads of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Warden Service over who has authority over the river waters around the reservation. Bruce Bourque, an anthropology lecturer at Bates College, entered the court case as an expert witness for the state of Maine, in opposition to the Penobscot Nation. Several leaders within the Penobscot tribe have begun to question Bates’ position on the issue. This documentary has been created as an educational tool, providing perspectives from either side of the court case, in hopes that members of the Bates community may be able to make a well-informed decision on the matter. Topics covered include the impetus for the lawsuit, the historic case brought forward by Bruce Bourque, and the current contamination of the river water. Rather than providing concrete answers, the documentary should serve to inspire a sense of inquiry amongst viewers, driving them to pursue further research and develop their own opinion on the matter.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Misty Beck

Second Advisor

Holly Ewing

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 PDF file

(Link included for website and video component)


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.