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Law | Recognition
Shunned Wampanaogs sue tribal leaders

Two members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts filed suit in state court over their "shunning" by tribal leaders.

Amelia Bingham and her son, Steven, were shunned in December 2006 for criticizing the tribe. The Binghams, along with other tribal members, had sued the tribe in state court to get a closer look at the tribe's finances.

A few months later, in May 2007, the tribe became federally recognized. A judge dismissed the suit, citing the tribe's sovereign immunity.

Elders then encouraged tribal members to rescind the shunning. Despite an overwhelming vote by the membership, the tribal council has refused to change its original decision.

The Binghams now say they are owed damages for the tribe's actions. They say tribal leaders violated their civil rights.

Get the Story:
Shunned tribal members claim civil rights violations (The Cape Cod Times 4/29)