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Federal Recognition
Nipmuc Nation 'humiliated' by denial of federal status

Leaders of the Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts said they were "humiliated" by the Bureau of Indian Affairs' decision to deny them federal recognition.

Tribal leaders blamed anti-casino forces for the rejection of their petition. Officials in Connecticut who oppose the expansion of gaming lobbied heavily against the tribe.

In a final determination, the BIA said the tribe failed to meet four out of seven mandatory criteria for recognition. According to the BIA, a majority of the tribe's membership does not descend from the historical Nipmuc tribe, there was no identification of the group as an Indian tribe from 1900 to 1979, the tribe has not comprised a distinct community from historical times and the tribe has not exercised political influence from historical times to the present.

The tribe will appeal to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. A rival group of Nipmucs, also denied status, has not announced its plans.

Get the Story:
Nipmuc Nation hopes for Kerry intervention (The Republican 7/8)
Nipmucs blaming Conn. for loss (The Boston Herald 7/8)
Nipmucs fight 'anti-casino agenda': Tribal council to appeal federal denial of recognition (The Metro West Daily News 7/8)
Nipmucs will appeal US tribal rejection (The Boston Globe 7/8)
Council votes to appeal BIA rejection of federal recognition (AP 7/7)

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