fbpx
 
(Courtesy Tribe Facebook Page)

Legislation follows Trump Administration attacks on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) on Thursday introduced the Tribal Reservation Pandemic Protection Act, which would prohibit the Trump administration from threatening tribal reservation lands in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill is intended to protect the sovereignty of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which won a court decision on Friday, June 5 when a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to take the land out of the trust was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law."

Even after the court victory for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the potential of a lengthy appeals process threatens the sovereignty and survival of the tribe. As the Department of Interior considers further actions against the Mashpee Wampanoag people, this legislation would give the tribe certainty and would ensure no other tribe in the country would face similar attacks.

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM)

“Tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationships must be respected, but the Department of Interior chose to use this public health emergency to illegally move land out of trust. This bill will prohibit this Administration from dodging the rules and taking Tribes’ land during this public health emergency,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

“In the midst of a pandemic that has uniquely threatened Native Americans, Tribes should be focused on caring for their communities, not fighting back against a hateful, ignorant Administration,” said Congressman Kennedy. “If President Trump is willing to threaten the very existence of the Tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims to our shores, no tribal lands in this country are safe from his attacks. Under the Tribal Reservation Pandemic Protection Act, we can ensure our nation’s priorities lie with the Native Americans who deserve our protection.”

Last month, Congresswoman Haaland and Congressman Kennedy filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. In April, Kennedy led a bipartisan letter to Senator Mitch McConnell demanding the immediate passage of his Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, which passed the House in 2019.

More Stories Like This

Tribal Business News Round Up: Sept. 26
A Year Later, Myron Dewey’s Family Waits for Justice
Two National Native American Organizations to Address International Trade for Indian Country at World Trade Organization Forum in Geneva
Native News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]