Environment | Law

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe hails move in fishing rights case

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts has never ceded its fishing rights, Chairman Cedric Cromwell said.

The tribe's attorney is representing David Greene, a tribal member, in a lawsuit against the town of Mattapoisett and a former deputy shellfish warden. Greene believes his fishing rights were violated when his catch of quahogs was seized by the officer.

“The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and our individual members have never ceded our original rights to fish as we have done since time immemorial,” Cromwell said in a letter to tribal members. “The tribe will take all steps necessary to stop any and all unlawful effort to interfere with our rights and the rights of tribal members.”

The town tried to join the tribe and the state in the lawsuit but the judge rejected the motion. The judge ruled that Greene can proceed with his case.

In 1999, the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld a decision that said tribal members are protected by a 1749 treaty and by their aboriginal rights.

Get the Story:
Judge: Mashpee tribe member can proceed with fishing rights lawsuit (The Cape Cod Times 1/28)

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Lawsuit over Mashpee Wampanoag fishing rights still unresolved (8/2)

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