Federal Recognition

Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation racked $80M recognition debt

The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut racked up $80 million in debt in its pursuit of federal recognition, Chairman James Cunha told The New London Day.

The tribe, which was split into two factions, spent the money on genealogists, researchers, lawyers, lobbyists and developers. Some money is even owed to Donald Trump.

"Everything's been settled, but we have huge bills for lawyers and outstanding payments to financial backers, Trump among them," Cunha told the paper.

The tribe cited the debt figure in a petition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The petition asks the Obama administration to reconsider federal recognition for the tribe.

The Bush administration granted, then later rescinded, the tribe's federal status.

Get the Story:
Eastern Pequots ask for review of BIA's reversal of recognition (The New London Day 11/3)

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