Federal Recognition
Backer spent $15M on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Herb Strather, a real-estate developer from Detroit, Michigan, estimates he poured $15 million into the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts.

Strather, 55, backed the tribe in exchange for a development agreement but said he was motivated for non-financial reasons. "I don't give to just any cause. I give to things I'm willing to stake my life on," he told The Cape Cod Times.

Strather started working with "the tribe that met the Mayflower" in 1999. "I became their financial backer after we signed an agreement on a napkin," he told the paper.

The deal paid off Friday when the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a preliminary decision in favor of the tribe. It came after a 30-year-wait, during which the tribe lost many elders and Russell Peters, a former chairman who championed the tribes' federal recognition and land claim.

The decision will be finalized in March 2007. No opposition is expected to the petition.

Get the Story:
Wampanoag money man (The Cape Cod Times 4/2)
Joy, sorrow for Mashpee Wampanoag (The Boston Herald 4/2)
Despite ruling, the tribe still has 'a long way to go' (The Cape Cod Times 4/1)
Years of disappointment wash away in tears of joy (The Cape Cod Times 4/1)
A blessing and a burden (The Cape Cod Times 4/1)
Mashpees near federal recognition (The Boston Globe 4/1)
Wampanoag cross first hurdle to federal recognition (The Cape Cod Times 3/31)

BIA Decision
Summary under the Criteria for the Proposed Finding on the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, Inc. (March 31, 2006)

Relevant Documents:
Summary of Acknowledgment Cases | R. Lee Fleming Declaration

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe - http://mashpeewampanoagtribe.com

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