Federal Recognition
Mashpee lobbyists met with Dorgan several times

November 17, 2005, Hearing:
Video | Exhibits

November 2, 2005, Hearing:
Video | Exhibits | Witness List / Testimony
Lobbyists working for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts met several times with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) in 2003 in order to press the tribe's bid for federal recognition.

The tribe says the effort paid off. Dorgan, the top Democrat on the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee, added language in a bill that year that urged the Bureau of Indian Affairs to speed up the tribe's case. As part of a court settlement, the BIA eventually agreed to a timeline to consider the petition.

But some tribal members aren't happy that their leaders hired lobbyists from the Greenberg Traurig firm, the former employer of Jack Abramoff. "We feel our petition stands on its own, on our tradition, not because we are paying people off," elder Anita Peters told The Cape Cod Times. She said the tribe voted to follow the BIA's administrative process for recognition, not to seek a legislative solution.

Peters criticized Chairman Glenn Marshall, who hired the firm and made political contributions to Dorgan, for bringing elders into the debate. He asked the Elder Council to pass a resolution in support of his leadership. "He had a piece of paper in his hand and said he'd like to get the support of the elders and put it in the newspaper," an elder who asked not to be named told the paper.

Get the Story:
Another tribal lobbyist tied to kickback probe (The Cape Cod Times 12/3)
E-mail sheds light on dark insider world (The Cape Cod Times 12/4)
Elders back tribe chairman (The Cape Cod Times 12/4)

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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