Editorial: Nipmuc recognition seems a long shot

"Federal recognition has been elusive because the family ties and other associations that bind members of both groups fall short of the requirements for tribal status. Petitioners must prove that their group has existed continuously as a distinct political and social community since first contact with Europeans.

It remains to be seen whether the Nipmucs believe they have a strong enough case to justify a legal challenge. It would seem a long shot, given the multiple denials of recognition and the prospect of organized opposition by an anti-casino coalition of 11 Northeastern Connecticut towns.

Unlike other tribal bids for federal recognition that have been motivated primarily by casino plans, the Nipmucs’ campaign was launched to achieve social and cultural goals, long before casino gambling was an issue.

As we have said before, in the course of the campaign they have made substantial progress on the goals that originally prompted the quest. The effort has brought members together as a community. It has heightened their awareness of and pride in their heritage. It has preserved tribal history that otherwise might have been lost.

Those are noteworthy accomplishments, indeed."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Bid for recognition accomplished cultural goals (The Worcester Telegram & Gazette 9/14)

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Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Nipmuc Nation - http://www.nipmucnation.org

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