Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino site finally placed in trust

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell speaks at a press conference in Mashpee, Massachusetts, on September 19, 2015. Photo from Facebook

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts is celebrating Thanksgiving early now that its gaming site has been formally placed in trust.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the tribe's land-into-trust application in September after years of review. The tribe now plans to build the First Light Resort and Casino on 151 acres in the city of Taunton.

"This year’s Thanksgiving will have a much different meaning for our tribe. It will be historic. We are on a different journey now," Chairman Cedric Cromwell said on the tribe's website. "Instead of losing more land and access each year, we are changing course and headed in a different direction. We are coming full circle."

Cromwell did not specify a groundbreaking date but previously anticipated one in the spring of 2016.

Get the Story:
Mashpee, Taunton land officially in trust (The Cape Cod Times 11/13)
Feds Formalize Mashpee Tribe Land Into Trust Application (CapeCod.Com 11/13)

Relevant Documents:
Chairman Cedric Cromwell Announcement | Mashpee Wampanoag Trbe Press Release | Bureau of Indian Affairs Press Release | Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn Letter to Chairman Cedric Cromwell | Record of Decision | Attachment I - Legal Descriptions | Attachment II - Maps | Attachment III - Mitigation Monitoring and Enforcement Plan | Attachment IV - Response to Comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions; Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (September 25, 2015)
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Fee-to-Trust Transfer of Property and Subsequent Development of a Resort/Hotel and Ancillary Facilities in the City of Taunton, MA and Tribal Government Facilities in the Town of Mashpee, MA by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (September 5, 2014)
Land Acquisitions: Appeals of Land Acquisition Decisions (November 13, 2013)

DOI Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

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