Chairman Cedric Cromwell of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe addresses the #StandWithMashpee rally at the U.S. Capitol on November 14, 2018. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still working with backer of derailed casino

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe isn't the only one reeling from the Trump administration's termination-era decisions.

Genting Malaysia has taken a $440 million "impairment loss" on its investment with the tribe, The Cape Cod Times reported. The figure was disclosed in the firm's third quarter results, which were released on Friday.

"This impairment loss was due to the uncertainty of recovery of the notes following the US Federal Government’s decision in September 2018 concluding that the tribe did not satisfy the conditions under the Indian Reorganisation Act that allow the tribe to have the land in trust for an integrated gaming resort development," the quarterly report states.

But the tribe and Genting aren't giving up. They are focusing efforts on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, according to the report.

The bill (H.R.5244 | S.2628) prevents the tribe's reservation in Massachusetts from being taken out of trust. Some of that land will be used for the First Light Resort and Casino in the city of Taunton.

The tribe is also challenging the Trump administration with a lawsuit in federal court. The complaint was filed after the Bureau of Indian Affairs concluded that the tribe cannot have its homelands restored through the land-into-trust process.

Tara Sweeney, the Trump administration's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, made the decision barely two months into her job in Washington, D.C. Tribal leaders have called it a return to the dark days of the termination era because it will lead to tribal lands being taken out of trust for the first time in decades.

Separately, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is appealing a federal judge's ruling, the one that forced the BIA to take a second look at the land issue. That case is pending in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Tribe's financial backer reports substantial loss (The Cape Cod Times December 3, 2018)

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