June 2019 Mittark

House Passes Legislation to Reaffirm Wampanoag Land In Trust

Legislation that would reaffirm the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s federal land in trust was approved by the House on Wednesday, May 15.

The bill, which was reintroduced by Congressman Bill Keating, was approved 275-146 in a crucial step toward building a $1 billion resort casino in Taunton.

Last year, the Department of Interior reversed a previous decision to hold 321 acres of land in Mashpee and Taunton in trust following a federal lawsuit that challenged the process.

The Interior Department ruling said the tribe didn’t qualify to place the land in trust because it wasn’t under federal jurisdiction when the Indian Reorganization Act passed in 1934.

Since then, the tribe has been trying to secure federal legislation that would end all challenges to their land in trust.

Speaking on the House floor, Keating said the Wampanoag Tribe has resided in Southern New England for more than 12,000 years.

“To not have their land federally recognized simply is a disgrace,” Keating said. “We’ve seen them in our history books, in historic paintings, and iconic murals. They are the tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving.”

Keating said he has worked for years with the tribe as they have used federal recognition to provide adequate housing, jobs, job training, and essential services, including native language learning and early childhood education.

The tribe has also been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

“The incidence of overdose for the Wampanoag Tribe is 400 times, I’ll repeat that – 400 times – more [than the general public,]” Keating said.   


Chairman's Column


Wunee keesuq Tribal family,

It’s truly unfortunate that we have a single tribal council member that continues to spearhead a campaign to derail our efforts to secure our land, our community service programs, our culture and the education of our next leaders. Disagreement among policy and procedure is expected and healthy in government, but this is not what’s happening. Material is continually leaked to local news outlets and misinformation is spread among our community.


Recall Hearing/Election Notice

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Election Committee extends NOTICE to all Enrolled Tribal Members who will turn 18 years of age on or before Sunday, September 15, 2019, that they are required to complete a Voter Registration form in order to vote at the Recall Election scheduled for Sunday, September 15, 2019 (the “Recall Election Day”) if not already registered to vote. A federal, State or Mashpee Tribal government-issued photo Identification card is required.

The Voter Registration form can be obtained at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Community & Government Center, located at 483 Great Neck Road South, Mashpee, MA 02649 during regular business hours. All enrolled and eligible Tribal members are allowed to register on or before the Recall Election Day.

The results of the Recall Election will be immediately announced after the votes are publicly hand counted by the Election Committee. The results will be posted at: (1) the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Community & Government Center, 483 Great Neck Road South, Mashpee, MA 02649; and (2) on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe official website by Monday, September 16, 2019.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Election Committee extends NOTICE that a Tribal Recall Election will be held.


Explore Additional News in this month's Nashauonk Mittark

List of Committee and Board Seat Openings