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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contemporary role of an eighteenth century bounty proclamation issued on the Penobscot Indians of Maine. We focus specifically on how the changing cultural context of the 1755 Spencer Phips Bounty Proclamation has transformed the document from serving as a tool for sanctioned violence to a tool of decolonization for the Indigenous peoples of Maine. We explore examples of the ways indigenous and non-indigenous people use the Phips Proclamation to illustrate past violence directed against Indigenous peoples. This exploration is enhanced with an analysis of the re-introduction of the Phips Proclamation using concepts of decolonization theory.

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