Politics | Federal Recognition

Romney adviser claims no federally recognized tribes in state





An Indian affairs adviser to Mitt Romney erroneously claimed there were no federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts when the Republican presidential candidate served as governor.

Lobbyist John Tahsuda, a member of the Kiowa Tribe, made the claim at the Global Gaming Expo, Indian Country Today reported. “Unfortunately being from Massachusetts the governor doesn’t have a long history and when he was the governor of Massachusetts I don’t believe they had any federally recognized tribes,” Tahsuda said.

But ICT noted that the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe was indeed federally recognized during that time. The tribe gained recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process in 1987.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was still in the process when Romney was governor. The BIA issued a proposed finding in favor of the tribe in March 2006 so his administration would have been aware of the petition.

Shortly after Romney left office in January 2007, the BIA issued a final determination for the tribe. It became effective in May of that year.

In addition to the two federally recognized tribes, Massachusetts recognizes several tribes.

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