The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe broke ground on the First Light Resort and Casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, in April 2016 but construction was halted in response to a lawsuit in federal court. Photo: First Light Resort and Casino

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is still waiting for an answer on its casino land-into-trust application in Massachusetts.

The Trump administration promised to make a decision by June 19. But the deadline came and went without word from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Department of the Interior, The Cape Cod Times reported.

The tribe broke ground on the $1 billion First Light Resort and Casino last year but opponents went to court and forced the BIA to reconsider. At issue is the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

In Carcieri, the court held that the BIA can acquire lands but only for those tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction' in 1934. A federal judge said the agency didn't fully explain how the decision affected the Mashpees, whose federal status wasn't formalized until 2007.

“We have submitted reams of evidence to prove what we already know: our Tribe more than meets the criteria the DOI needs to issue a positive finding,” Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a June 7 message in anticipation of a decision from the new administration.

Read More on the Story:
Mashpee tribe's land in trust decision delayed (The Cape Cod Times 6/19)

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