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WPLC stands with the Mashpee Wampanoag! On March 27, in the midst of the pandemic, the Secretary of the Interior ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation be disestablished, just four years after the Tribe finally, after a four decade legal battle, reclaimed the 320 acres of their ancestral land. The disestablishment, if allowed to stand, effectively means the Tribe will not be able to govern itself or provide its people with essential services such as housing, food assistance, and language education for its children.

Today’s action was cruel and it was unnecessary. The Secretary is under no court order to take our land out of trust. He is fully aware that litigation to uphold our status as a tribe eligible for the benefits of the Indian Reorganization Act is ongoing. It begs the question, what is driving our federal trustee’s crusade against our reservation?

Regardless of the answer, we the People of the First Light have lived here since before there was a Secretary of the Interior, since before there was a State of Massachusetts, since before the Pilgrims arrived 400 years ago. We have survived, we will continue to survive. These are our lands, these are the lands of our ancestors, and these will be the lands of our grandchildren. – Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Action Steps

  1. Read the bills.

  2. Sign the petition!

  3. Call the Massachusetts Delegation!

  4. Write to Senate Indian Affairs Committee!

  5. Write to your Senator in your home state!

Support Indigenous Land Rights in Massachusetts: Native Land Conservancy Donations

More Information: Esquire Magazine: Trump vs Tribes HuffPost: Tribe That Drew Trump’s Fire Over Casino Plan

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