Mashpee Selectmen Sign Public Service Agreement with Tribe

The Mashpee Board of Selectmen on Monday, February 12, agreed to re-sign a memorandum of understanding with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council agreeing to extend emergency services on tribal sovereign land for the remainder of the year.

The signature of the agreement arrives after the two Mashpee governments failed to meet over a two-month period as had originally been proposed.

The agreement sets out a set of protocols for local and state police, fire and medical personnel to respond on tribal land while the tribe develops its own emergency infrastructure and personnel. The town has signed yearly, temporary agreements since the tribe received a reservation proclamation from the federal government.

Earlier this year, selectmen agreed to sign a two-month extension with the hopes of pulling together what has become an elusive meeting with the tribal council. The board could then sign a more long-term agreement.

“Our Tribal Council is encouraged to learn that the Town of Mashpee has extended the Memorandum Of Understanding for emergency services, through December 31, 2018,” the tribal chairman is quoted. “Above all, as Tribal and Town governments respectively, our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of our all citizens.”

Since the selectmen decided to delay the signature of more long-term agreement, the tribe has proposed seven dates to the board of selectmen, three on Wednesdays and four on Mondays. Mr. O’Hara said that some selectmen were busy on Wednesdays, and he did not want to make too long of an agenda during the board’s regularly scheduled Monday meetings.

By Sam Houghton, The Mashpee Enterprise