At a Joint Tribal Council-Board of Selectmen meeting held on March 5, 2018, Mashpee Wampanoag tribal officials discuss the fight to keep its reservation land.
Published June 7, 2018
KANSAS CITY — At its 2018 Midyear Conference earlier this week, the National Congress of American Indians passed a motion in support of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (H.R. 5244 and S. 2628).
After the motion was passed, the National Congress of American Indians sent a letter members of Congress, the organization sent a letter dated, June 8, 2018, urging for Congress for swift action. The letter states, in part:
“This is an urgent matter, as the Mashpee Tribe’s reservation is in danger of being taken out of trust, despite strong local government support for its creation. This threat to the Mashpee Tribe’s federally protected lands, established under the authority of the Indian Reorganization Act, is the result of litigation brought by a small group of individuals, challenging the Tribe’s reservation on technical legal grounds. The Mashpee Tribe, like all other federally recognized tribes, is entitled to a federally protected reservation where it can exercise its sovereignty, protect its culture, and engage in self-determination.”
The letter continues saying Congress’ failure to act could result “in the Mashpee Tribe’s reservation being disestablished.”
If the reservation status is revoked, it would be the first time in modern history that an Indian reservation would be disestablished, according to the National Congress of American Indians. Such an action would mean the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe would be landless.
The National Congress of American Indians is the oldest and largest national organization representing the collective interests of American Indian and Alaska Natives tribes and their citizens.