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Kirk E. Francis Sr.

In 2006, when I was inaugurated into the office of the Chief of the Penobscot Nation, I realized that growing up on this reservation surrounded by extraordinary people had brought me to this place. Being raised on Indian Island was a privilege that I didn’t take lightly.

On Oak Hill, the highest place on the Island , I was surrounded by many elders who shaped the youth in the community. It was those teachings that guided me to run for office of Chief of the Penobscot Nation.

I cannot express the gratitude I have for the people of the Penobscot Nation for entrusting me with the responsibility to lead this great nation. I am honored to be included in the company of the men and women who have served as leaders in the community.

Our past chiefs have been both elected, like me, or were part of the traditional hereditary system, where the chief line followed a distinguished bloodline. It is these ancestors who worked hard to ensure that the Penobscot Nation remained a sovereign entity with a distinct culture and history. I have learned a lot from our past chiefs, the six still alive today and the written history of many others. Their guidance ensures that proper decisions are made for the next seven generations. In our history, there are letters from Penobscot chiefs from the late 1700s to modern day that address many of the same issues that we continue to fight today.

Today, the methods are much different but the issues and what we want for results remain the same. Economically, the Penobscot Nation is in a better place today. My predecessors had to rely on their instincts and had to constantly think about how to ensure the very survival of our people — culturally, spiritually, and physically. Those leaders were the glue that bound this community together in our darkest days. And it is the strength of these great leaders that allows me to fight for the success of the Penobscot Nation and our people today. Their past efforts and tough decisions have given me this opportunity, and as a tribal citizen, the right to exist as a Penobscot.

I know that my time as Chief has to provide for opportunity and progress for our Nation. With gratitude to the past, and with an eye to the future, this tribal administration is able to work for future generations and to do so as Penobscots, with our customs and traditions that make us who we are intact


 Years                Chief/Governor                           First Lady                              Sub-Chief/Lt. Governor

2014-2018       Kirk E. Francis, Sr.                    Shannon L. Blais                   William Q. Thompson

                                                                                                              Mark Sockbeson

2010-2014       Kirk E. Francis, Sr.                    Shannon L. Blais                   William Q. Thompson

2008-2010       Kirk E. Francis, Sr.                    Shannon L. Blais                   William Q. Thompson

2006-2008       Kirk E. Francis, Sr.                    Shannon L. Blais                     Dennis Pehrson Sr.

2004-2006       James G. Sappier                       Bonnie Jameson                      Mike Bear 

2002-2004       Barry L. Dana                            Lori A. Thomas Later                Mike Bear

2000-2002       Barry L. Dana                            Lori A. Thomas Later                Mike Bear

1998-2000       Richard Hamilton                                                                     Ann Irene Pardilla

1996-1998       Francis D. Mitchell                     Edwina Bear                           Brenda Fields

1994-1996       Richard Hamilton                                                                     Arnold Neptune

1992-1994       Geraldo R. Pardilla                     Janet M. Lewey                        Reuben E. Phillips

1990-1992       James G. Sappier                       Bonnie Jameson                      Phillip Guimond, Jr.

                                                                                                                            Gerardo R. Pardilla

12/07/1989      James G. Sappier                       Bonnie Jameson                     Phillip Guimond, Jr.

                        Chosen at Special Election 

09/12/1989-     Phillip Guimond, Jr.                    Lorena Loring
12/07/1989        Acting Governor                       

01/01/1988-     Francis D. Mitchell                     Edwina Bear                           Phillip Guimond, Jr.


1986-1988       James G. Sappier                        Bonnie Jameson                     Ann Irene Pardilla

1984-1986       Timothy R. Love                         Eva M. Ranco                         James G. Sappier

1982-1984       Timothy R. Love                         Eva M. Ranco                         Joseph Francis

1980-1982       Timothy R. Love                         Eva M. Ranco                         Nicholas Sapiel

1978-1980       Wilfred Pehrson                          Joan Dorothy Lolar                 Edwin Mitchell

1976-1978       Nicholas Sapiel                           Mary Arlene Ranco                 Wilfred Pehrson

1974-1976       Nicholas Sapiel                           Mary Arlene Ranco                 Peter S. Neptune

1972-1974       Matthew P. Sappier                    Helen Sullivan                        Kenneth Nelson

1970-1972       Francis J. Ranco                         Mabel Dana                           Frank V. Loring

Terms of office began January 1st prior to 1967 and October 1st after 1968

1968-1970       John M. Mitchell, Sr.                   Mary E. Meader                     Donald Daigle (resigned)

                                                                                                                    Harold Francis Sr.

1967-1968       John M. Mitchell, Sr.                   Mary E. Meader                      Frederick Nicola

1965-1966       Francis J. Ranco                         Mabel Dana                            Roy Dana

1963-1964       Ernest Goslin                               Helen M. Mitchell                   Francis Tomer

1961-1962       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        Harold Francis

1959-1960       Francis J. Ranco                         Mabel Dana                            John M. Mitchell, Sr.

1957-1958       Francis J. Ranco                         Mabel Dana                            John M. Mitchell, Sr.

1955-1956       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        Eugene Loring

1953-1954       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        John S. Nelson

1951-1952       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        John M. Mitchell, Sr.

1949-1950       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        David Sapiel

1947-1948       Albert J. Nicola                            Lisa L. Heighe                        Melvin Neptune

1945-1946       James Lewis                               Mary Josephine Ketchum        Harold Francis

1943-1944       Theodore B. Mitchell                   Mildred M. McKenney             John P. Ranco

1941-1942       James Lewis                               Mary Josephine Ketchum       Theodore B. Mitchell

1939-1940       Horace Nelson                             Philomeme Saulis                  Andrew Dana

1937-1938       James Lewis                               Mary Josephine Ketchum       Horace N. Polchies

1935-1936       Howard M. Ranco                        Nora Mary Paul                      Louis Lolar

1933-1934       Howard M. Ranco                        Nora Mary Paul                      Louis Lolar

                        Elected to succeed John T. Ranco

1933                John T. Ranco  (resigned)            Phoebe Leblanc                    Louis Lolar

Old Party and New Party Politics ceased to exist after 1931

1931-1932       Louis Nicholas (New Party)           Susan Bernard                      Newell A. Paul

1929-1930       George C. Dana (Old Party)          Julia F. Mitchell                     Peter M. Nelson

1928                Louis Nicholas                             Susan Bernard

                       Chosen at Special Election 10/01-12/31/1928

1928                Lester Bassett                            Mary Ethel Totty
                       Acting Governor 02/05-10/01/1928
1927-1928       Newell Tomer (New Party)             Louise Saul                           Lester Bassett

                         Died in office 02/05/1928
1925-1926       John Nelson (Old Party)                Alphonsine Mary Oulette       Peter M. Nelson

1923-1924       Unknown (New Party)
1921-1922       Nicholas Solomon (Old Party)       Ellen Antoinette Francis        Theodore B. Mitchell

1919-1920       Peter M. Nicola (New Party)          Madeline Ranco
1917-1918       Newell Francis (Old Party)            Julia F. Mitchell                     Peter Neptune
1915-1916       Newell Lyon (New Party)               Elizabeth Chandler                Louis Ketchum
1913-1914       Horace Nicola  (Old Party)             Martha Madeline Hubbard     Peter Neptune
1911-1912       Peter M. Nicola (New Party)           Madeline Ranco                   Louis Ketchum

1909-1910       Sabattis Francis (Old Party)           Mary Ann Nicholas               John B. Mitchell
1907-1908       Joseph Francis (New Party)           Elizabeth Swassian                Gabriel Paul
1905-1906       Newell Francis (Old Party)             Julia F. Mitchell                      Peter N. Neptune

1904                Newell Lyon (New Party)                Elizabeth Chandler                Lola Coley

                        Chosen at Special Election 01/29/1904

01/29/1904      Lola Coley                                     Annie Francis

        Acting Governor

1903                Sabattis Glossian (New Party)        Mary Sockbesin                   Lola Coley
                        Died in office 12/26/1903

1901-1902       Mitchell Attean (Old Party)               Mary Ranco                       Frank Loring

1899-1900       Joseph Francis (New Party)              Elizabeth Swassian          Peter Nicola

1897-1898       Sabattis Francis (Old Party)             Mary Ann Nicholas            Peter W. Ranco

1895-1896       Francis P. Sockalexis (New Party)     Frances Sockbeson          John Saul

1893-1894       Sabattis M. Francis (Old Party)          Mary Ann Nicholas         Louis Peol Sock

1891-1892       Joseph Francis  (New Party)              Elizabeth Swassian        Francis Sockalexis

1889-1890       Saul Neptune (Old Party)                   Frances Neptune            Sabattis Dana

1887-1888       Joseph Francis (New Party)               Elizabeth Swassian       Francis Sockalexis

1885-1886       Stephen Stanislaus (Old Party)          Sylvia Solomon              Saul Neptune

1883-1884       Sockabesin Swassian (New Party)     Mary Susep                   Swassian F. Susup

1881-1882       Stephen Stanislaus (Old Party)          Sylvia Solomon            Saul Neptune

1880                Sockabesin Swassian (New Party)    Mary Susep                   Swassian F. Susup

1879                Stephen Stanislaus (Old Party)          Sylvia Solomon               Saul Neptune

1878                Joseph Susup Sockalexis (N Party)   Muddlin Glossian           Sockabesin Swassian

1877                Stephen Stanislaus (Old Party)         Sylvia Solomon             Saul Neptune

                  Chosen at Special Election 01/04/1877

01/04/1877      Saul Neptune                                      Frances Neptune

        Acting Governor

1877                Tomer Attean (Old Party)                   Elizabeth Francis            Saul Neptune
                        Died in office 12/24/1876

1876                Joseph Susep Sockalexis (N Party)     Muddlin Glossian       Sockabesin Swasson

1875                Sabattis J. Mitchell (Old Party)          Elizabeth S. Francis         John Neptune

1874                Unknown (New Party)                                                           Attean Orson
                                                                                                                     Died in Office 01/12/1874
                                                                                                                     Sockabesin Swassian
                                                                                                                 Chosen Special Election

1873                Saul Neptune (Old Party)                    Frances Neptune

1872                Joseph Susup Sockalexis (N Party)     Muddlin Glossian          Attean Orson

1871                Saul Neptune (Old Party)

1870                Attean Orson (New Party)
                       Acting Governor 09/30/1870-12/31/1870

1870                Tomer Sockalexis (New Party)                                                Attean Orson
                        Died in Office 09/30/1870

1869                Joseph Attean (Old Party)                                                      Saul Neptune

1868                Tomer Sockalexis (New Party)                                                Attean Orson

1867                Joseph Attean (Old Party)                                                      Saul Neptune

1816-1858         John Attean

                       Attean Elmut

                       Joseph Orono

                       John Attean

                       Lolon Saguarrab

                       Wenonganet II

                       Wenonganet I