The election for Tribal Council was held on September 10th, 2016.

Elected Council members serve four-year terms.  The Council consists of 12 members and every four years six of those seats are termed out.  Tribal Members who wish to run for a council seat run on their own record and their personal reputation.  There are no political parties in our Tribal Governments.

Candidates reach out to the Community through family members, one on one conversation and by social media.  It is truly an honor to be chosen by the people to represent them on Tribal Council. The Chief of the Penobscot Nation and the Penobscot Nation Tribal Council oversee the entire administration of the Tribal Government inclusive of the well-being, safety and protection of all Penobscot Nation Tribal Members.

Each elected Tribal Council Member takes the oath of office prior to the first meeting of Council held on or after the first Tuesday in October.  Penobscot Nation Tribal Council Members take the following Oath of Office:

” I, _Council Member’s Name      on _ Date of Oath    , now solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge to the best of my abilities, duties incumbent upon me as a member of the Tribal Council of the Penobscot Indian Nation and will lead my people in accordance with the Ancient Customs, Traditions, Ordinances and Laws of the Penobscot Nation as well as applicable State or Federal Laws as have all my Predecessors in ages past.”


n’spee-w’la-meh  n’da-gwejijI solemnly swear I will try

w’lee-gizeeya-doto do my best

ah-doo-jee gizee-d’bizeya-nehif I’m giving such a status

el-lij neehkanip-hoogkhow I will put them first

n’bimaw-z’wee-no-mukmy people

dah-laww  nuh-wud  eleg’bunlike long ago how it was

buna-wuhp-skeh-wee  bodawa-zidas a Penobscot Council member.

The oath of office is given by the Linda Socoby, Tribal Clerk and Certified with the Nation’s Seal.

The Penobscot Nation has been working diligently to restore the Penobscot Language.

Our language is being taught in the elementary school, through adult language classes as well as in this year’s music video and theatre productions, Skicin in You and Transformer Tales, respectively.

This year Charlene Virgilio was the last elected Council Member to take her oath. She waited because she wanted to take the oath in the language of our Ancestors, the Penobscot Language. She is the first Council Member to do so in decades. It was important for us to record this special moment in our history. We are happy to share it with you.

Here is Charlene Virgilio taking her Council Oath on October 6, 2016 administered by the Tribal Clerk in the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Court Room.