Hey, there! Log in / Register

Trump Admin vs. Indians

Trump administration revokes tribe’s reservation status in ‘power grab’

A tribe is losing reservation status for its more than 300 acres in Massachusetts, raising fears among Native American groups that other tribes could face the same fate under the Trump administration.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which traces its ancestry to the Native Americans that shared a fall harvest meal with the Pilgrims in 1621, was notified late on Friday by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs that it will be rescinding its reservation designation and removing the land from federal trust, according to Cedric Cromwell, the tribe’s chairman.
. . .
The US Department of the Interior, which oversees Native American affairs, is obligated by a recent federal court decision to remove the special land designations, which were bestowed in 2015 under then President Barack Obama, according to Conner Swanson, an agency spokesman.

His interpretation that Interior was "obligated to remove" is disputed.

“The Secretary is under no court order to take our land out of trust,” [Cromwell] said in a statement Friday. “He is fully aware that litigation to uphold our status as a tribe eligible for the benefits of the Indian Reorganization Act is ongoing.”
Free tagging: 



Can we just give him a cavalry hat, tell him as CIC he needs to lead the effort, and send him off for two months of horse-riding lessons?

Voting closed 18

Bone spurs.

Voting closed 17

He is steadfast on his quest to undo everything Obama did. What a fool.

Voting closed 26

What’s this have to do with Boston?

Voting closed 19

The action was based on a court decision.

I guess President Trump going along with the rule of law is bad somehow.

Voting closed 18

Trump's people used the court decision as an excuse. There was no court directive that they take this action.

Voting closed 26

My reading of the article you decided to share with us is that there was a court decision that said that the granting of reservation land status was in error. That would appear to invalidate the action. You seem to be saying the Trump administration should have ignored a court decision.

Any other court decisions you think the administration should have ignored?

Voting closed 17

He's already ignoring the ongoing court case wherein the Wampanoag are trying to establish their tribal rights.

Also, I gave you two links. The second one explains that, as SwirlyGrrl says, this is about casino turf. Here, I'll save you the enormous effort of clicking on that second link:

Last year, the tribe had tried to get Congress to reaffirm its reservation status, after a legal challenge by opponents of their proposed casino threw it into uncertainty. A bill introduced by Rep. Bill Keating proposed to clarify that the Mashpee Wampanoag was eligible to have its land taken into trust and prevent future legal challenges.

However, after the bill was approved by a House committee and fast-tracked for a floor vote, Trump himself weighed in with a tweet urging Republicans to oppose the somewhat obscure legislation. The Republican president also tied the bill to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential primary candidate at the time who had vocally supported the tribe’s efforts to maintain its reservation.

Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019

While the bill did eventually pass the Democrat-controlled House (with support from almost every Democrat and roughly a quarter of Republican members), it has since stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The only two House Democrats to vote against the legislation were the two members of the Rhode Island delegation, who argued it would unfairly pave the way for the tribe’s Taunton casino that would compete with the two nearby casinos in their state. Work on the $1 billion casino has been halted due to challenges to the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation.

Twin River, the operator of the two Rhode Island casinos, also hired Matthew Schlapp, a conservative activist and vocal Trump supporter, to lobby for the company on the issue of the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation, as The Washington Post reported after Trump spoke out against the bill. Schlapp’s wife, Mercedes Schlapp, was Trump’s strategic communications director at the time. However, Schlapp said his wife played “no role” in his advocacy.

Voting closed 17

he chose to ignore this part

Voting closed 8

The one that you put on the top. The one where the DoI points out that they are obligated as 2 courts have ruled that the grant was in error, which the tribe opted not to appeal.

Okay, I’ll ignore it. But again, are you really saying you want Trump to start ignoring court decisions?

Voting closed 12

the boston.com article lends some context the guardian article

Voting closed 13

Great. You think a boston.com article will 'lend context' to a guardian article. Damn, that's hopeless. Got to go to the source.
Why not use the Congressional record or some Commonwealth casino info? Hell, I'll do the heavy lifting for you.

See below.

Voting closed 5

"Any other court decisions you think the administration should have ignored?"

"The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the tribe on Thursday, upholding a lower court decision on the technical question of whether they qualified for trust protections provided under the Department of the Interior."
"The plaintiffs to the case are a group of residents who live next to the proposed $1 billion casino-resort in Taunton. They successfully sued the federal government for initially granting the tribe trust status in 2015, which halted construction of the gaming facility."

Swirl's right...it's all about casinos.

What's the financial history of casinos in Massachusetts? Let's look:
"If the Gaming Commission opts to go ahead with licensing a commercial casino in Region C and the tribe is allowed to open its own casino under federal law, Massachusetts would receive no tax revenue from the tribal casino."
So, the state loses the tax revenue from the Native casino, but would gain big $$$ from a Brockton one. Interesting.
Clue...follow the money...Apparently the tribe is in hock to a Malaysian gambling syndicate to the tune of $500 MILLION dollars. As Kenda would say, "My,my,my".

Some backstory, because there's always a backstory...
It's worth a read, just to get to the crux of the matter.

" H.R. 312 is contrary to the view of the Department of the Interior.
It contradicts a Supreme Court decision and aims to reverse Federal
court decisions on this matter in order to build a massive 400,000-
square-foot, off-reservation gaming complex for the benefit of Genting,
a foreign Malaysian gaming company.
H.R. 312 creates two reservations for the Mashpee Tribe of
One reservation will be the town of Mashpee, the Tribe's historic
reservation lands. No casino will be allowed within the geographical
boundaries of the town of Mashpee.
The other reservation is, oddly, 50 miles away from Mashpee, in the
city of Taunton. This site is not part of the Tribe's historic
reservation and was selected by the Tribe and Genting for a billion-
dollar casino project because of its proximity to the Providence, Rhode
Island, casino market, 20 miles distant."


" H.R. 312 is a financial bailout for Genting. The Tribe is swamped
with a $500 million-plus debt to Genting, and there is no way the Tribe
can ever pay this back and still make enough money to sustain itself.
Genting, therefore, will be the real owner of the project, not the
This kind of arrangement where the creditor practically controls the
financial future of a debtor Tribe is contrary to the Indian Gaming
Regulatory Act, which requires every Tribal casino to be 100 percent
tribally owned."

So, bottom line,"Orange man racist, orange man bad" doesn't begin to cover the shenanigans here. If anything, Trump is late to the party. Obama, however, in 2015, made a Malaysian gambling syndicate very happy.
I've probably got more Native blood under my roof than most of you. My opinion is that they absolutely hate Senator Warren (Slinging Bull), but they'll use her (and most useful idiots that believe anything she says) to try to get what they want.

Voting closed 8

You realize that this is all about squelching competition for casinos, right?

Or are you simply unable to see the reality of the extreme corruption involved from the vantage point of your MyPillow Knee Pads?

Voting closed 22

If only tribes can have casinos,and he disenfranchises all the tribes, then that just means that there's no casinos, right?

Does he expect that states with laws stating that only tribes can have casino licenses will hand him casino licenses in the absence of native groups to whom to award them?

Voting closed 5

The ones doing deals with his buddies get recognition; the others can go pound sand.

Voting closed 9

How dare an American business owner help this country and the Orange Man! Orange Man Bad!

Voting closed 13

Mashpee is only about an hour or so away from Boston (depending on Cape traffic) and Adam reports on news around the Cape area semi-frequently.

In addition, pretty much every part of the Boston area and all of Massachusetts sits on former Wampanoag land, so it seems like it should be pretty relevant that the federal government is now declaring what little land they have left to be no longer protected.

Voting closed 38

if you’ve been to this website even once before, you know that not every column posted here is explicitly about Boston proper.

Voting closed 16

It's the Universal Hub, and consequently the Hub of the Universe (Boston) gets the most attention, but occasionally the Outer Districts, such as Mashpee, France, and the Andromeda Galaxy, get a mention.

Voting closed 19

The Donald owned casinos in Atlantic City when it was the only option for a casino on the East Coast. Suddenly Foxwoods opened, cracking that monopoly and draining the all important NYC traffic. He went before Congress accusing the owners of being a fake tribe (He may have been right, different debate) saying "they sure don't look like Indians to me." It was a large contributing factor in the fall of sad AC and led to one of his many bankruptcies.

The Donald is a creature of blind, unthinking rage. The fact that the Mashpee are a legit tribe won't save them from his 25 year old butt-hurt.

Voting closed 15

An important video that I should have cited above. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_aSCa7P20o) Scroll to 5:00.

Voting closed 6

if the Federal government seizes it (without due process?) from the Wampanoag tribe?

Voting closed 7

And before people go back 300 years, I'm thinking along the line of 10 years ago, before all of this current bickering began.

Voting closed 9

It’s just losing reservation status.

Voting closed 5