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Federal Recognition
Response: Mashpees earned federal recognition

"Cedric Sunray�s recent commentary (Native American Times June 9, 2006, print edition) took a swipe at federal recognition, and his backhand struck a stinging blow at the Mashpee Wampanoag.

The Choctaw who is teaching at the Pawnee Nation College accused us of not earning the federal recognition which was the proposed finding by the Secretary of the Department of Interior on March 31 of this year. He says we bought it with $15 million from a gaming backer who used at least some of the money to pay Jack Abramoff.

That is only part of the truth he used to surmise his pat answer that we are unworthy of federal recognition.

Had Professor Sunray done any research at all beyond his cousin�s future wife, a cursory Google search and scanning Indian Country Today for sound bites and headlines, he would know there has been so much more to our petition for federal recognition than tainted lobbyists and gaming money.

Our petition is one that began before the federal recognition process was even invented and arguably charted the course for the recognition of other tribes while political pressure preserved development rights to our ancestral homeland in one of the most pristine and desired coastal communities on the eastern seaboard.

We have fought for our federal recognition since 1975, a small band of Indians using what ever resources we could find and an overstressed Native American Rights Fund attorney to mount the gargantuan bureaucracy that became the Office of Federal Acknowledgement."

Get the Story:
Paula Peters: Mashpee Wampanoag writer responds to criticism (The Native American Times 6/15)

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 -

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