Opinion: Mashpee Wampanoag fought for recognition
"Since the final determination on the Mashpee Wampanoag petition for federal recognition was announced, I have had many gracious congratulations from friends and strangers. But I have also been approached by more people than I can count who say to me, ''So, when will you build that casino?''

The issue dominates headlines, and I can hardly blame them. But it still breaks my heart because it means so many people don't understand what recognition means.

Mashpee is a part of our ancestral homeland, where Wampanoag have lived for more than 10,000 years. It has been our home and our cultural and historical base for hundreds of years. Until we filed claim to it, we were that charming Indian tribe on Cape Cod. But ever since, we have had to fight for our existence in what, at times, has been a bitter battle.

It is a battle that caused members of the federal government to scratch their heads and think up a way to process tribal requests for acknowledgement, making sure they added enough layers of bureaucracy and complicated legal hurdles to discourage such attempts.

Then they assigned the review of petitions to a grossly understaffed office, where the petitions languish for years until high-powered lobbyists jiggled them loose."

Get the Story:
Paula Peters: Focus on casino belittles Wampanoag struggle (The Cape Cod Times 3/4)

Relevant Documents:
DOI Final Determination | 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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