Mashpee Wampanoag recognition cost $8M
Backers of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts spent $8 million to finance the tribe's successful federal recognition petition.

The tribe used the money to hire genealogists, anthropologists, lobbyists and a public relations consultant. The effort paid off last Thursday, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs said the tribe met all seven criteria for recognition.

The campaign didn't come without controversy. Some tribal members questioned the hiring of Greenberg Traurig, the former firm of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and campaign contributions made by tribal leaders, including Chairman Glenn Marshall.

But the dispute, in some way, actually helped the tribe. The BIA said it showed how the tribe's political processes survived over the past 400 years.

Some also say the tribe is now beholden to Herb Strather, a Detroit real estate and casino developer. According to The Cape Cod Times, he's given the tribe $15 million since 1999, in exchange for future financial considerations.

The tribe is interested in a casino and is actively looking for land. The tribe would presumably qualify for the newly recognized tribes exception in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Get the Story:
Tribe recognition comes at a cost (The Cape Cod Times 2/17)
Wampanoag office planned for New Bedford (The New Bedford Standard-Times 2/19)
Church leaders say Wampanoag casino would 'open up Pandora's Box' (The New Bedford Standard-Times 2/19)

Relevant Documents:
Summary of Acknowledgment Cases | R. Lee Fleming Declaration

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe - http://mashpeewampanoagtribe.com

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