Casino Stalker
BIA considers Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino land-into-trust

The Bureau of Indian Affairs held the first public hearing on a land-into-trust application for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts.

The tribe wants to use 145 acres in Taunton for a casino and 170 acres in Mashpee for a headquarters and other purposes. The BIA is holding two hearings this week in preparation for an environmental impact statement.

According to news reports, the hearing in Taunton lasted more than four hours. Although Chairman Cedric Cromwell and local officials n spoke in favor of a casino for the tribe, the majority of people commented against it.

Speakers raised three major issues. Members of two state-recognized tribes said the Mashpees lack ties to the Taunton site, an issue that could affect the application.

Speakers also cited the U.S. Supreme Court in Carcieri v. Salazar, which limits the land-into-trust to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" as of 1934. The Mashpees didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007.

The new Supreme Court decision in Salazar v. Patchak was raised as well. Once the BIA makes a final decision on the application, it will be open to lawsuits from a wider range of opponents.

The decision could also face lawsuits within a six-year period, much longer than the 30-day period that historically governed the process.

The BIA is holding a second meeting in Mashpee tonight.

Get the Story:
Mashpee tribe addresses concerns (The Cape Cod Times 6/21)
Land-in-trust could prove issue in Mashpee shot at Taunton casino (The Taunton Daily Gazette 6/21)
Bureau of Indian Affairs holds Taunton casino scoping meeting (The Taunton Daily Gazette 6/21)
Norton, surrounding towns still looking for information on impact of Taunton casino (The Attleboro Sun Chronicle 6/21)
Tribes oppose Mashpee’s Taunton casino (The Boston Globe 6/21)

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Mashpee Wampanaog Tribe confident of casino land-into-trust (6/20)