BIA tells paper to wait on land-into-trust status

Everyone knows the Bureau of Indian Affairs has a backlog of land-into-trust applications but there's also a backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests on those land-into-trust applications.

The Cape Cod Times discovered both when it sought to learn what progress the BIA has made on the Mashpee Wampanaog Tribe's applications. The paper was told to file a FOIA request but due to a backlog, it could take months for the BIA to respond.

The tribe wants nearly 700 acres in two Massachusetts towns placed in trust. Some of the land will be used for a proposed casino.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act bars gaming on land acquired after 1998. But the Mashpees qualify for an exception that applies to newly recognized tribes.

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Tribe gambling on federal agency (The Cape Cod Times 11/5)