Column: Mashantucket gift comes at curious time
"It would be hard to fault the Mashantucket Pequots for their generosity to the community in the years since Foxwoods became such an enormous success.

In fact, last year, as the Pequots donated $150,000 to 15 charities in Connecticut and Rhode Island in celebration of the casino's 15-year anniversary, they estimated that they've given away a total of $85 million in cash since 1992. That doesn't include donated goods and services.

The tribe's first major philanthropic contribution was for $10 million to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington.

The donation was made as a 10-year pledge in 1994 by then Tribal Chairman Richard “Skip” Hayward, in response to a specific request by Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a power broker on American Indian issues in Congress.

Hayward later admitted to wincing when Inuoye first told him the amount he wanted the Pequots to give. (The other New England gaming tribes, the Mohegans and the Oneidas, also later anted up their own $10 million contributions to the museum.)

But Hayward's $10 million gift, eye-popping as it may have been 14 years ago, is no longer the record Pequot contribution."

Get the Story:
David Collins: Generous Pequot Gift A Bit Puzzling (The New London Day 11/16)