Chairman Cedric Cromwell of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe addresses the #StandWithMashpee rally at the U.S. Capitol on November 14, 2018. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Supports Joe Biden for President
Tribal Council’s Historic Resolution Comes as Tribe Fights to Preserve its Reservation
Friday, October 2, 2020

Mashpee, Massachusetts—The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council passed a resolution at a September 30th Tribal Council Meeting supporting former Vice President Joe Biden for President of the United States, marking the first time ever the Tribe has supported a presidential candidate.

“The Mashpee Wampanoag have resided upon its indigenous territory since time immemorial and are committing to being good stewards and protecting our land for future generations,” Cedric Cromwell, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation, wrote in a letter to Vice President Biden. “Notwithstanding our efforts to comply with the stringent regulatory framework required to secure our land base, currently the federal government has abandoned its effort to protect our reservation in contravention of its trust responsibility. We thank Vice President Biden for his public and unwavering support for our efforts. We know that a Biden/Harris administration will not seek to erase the Mashpee Wampanoag and our rich history that is woven into the tapestry of this country.”

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. After a process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,700 enrolled citizens.

In March 2020, the Secretary of the Interior ordered that the Tribe’s reservation be “disestablished” and its land taken out of trust. However, in June, the District Court of D.C. granted a summary judgment on behalf of the Mashpee Tribe, ordering that the Interior review the matter and issue new findings. The Judge in the case wrote that the Interior Department’s actions to rescind the Tribe’s reservation designation were “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law.”

In Tribal Council’s letter to Biden, Chairman Cromwell acknowledged the former Vice President’s support in the case, “We also know that a Biden/Harris administration will stand with Indian Country as they have stood with us in this fight. We are confident that Vice President Biden will ensure that self-governance and sovereignty for tribal nations reigns supreme. Such an administration will uphold its federal trust responsibility to all tribal nations and strengthen the government-to-government relations that have been so sorely depredated. We urge our fellow tribal nations and sister tribes to support the Biden/Kamala campaign and join this effort.”

###

About the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe:
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,700 enrolled citizens.