• Petitioned United States Senator

This petition was delivered to:

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senator
United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs
Franklin Keel, Eastern Regional Director
Donald Laverdure, Acting Assistant Secretary
United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Assistant Secretary
Nedra Darling
US DOI BIA Office of Indian Gaming
Paula Hart, Director
United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs
Randall Trickey, Realty Officer
United States Department of the Interior
The Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary
Private Investigator
Michelle C Littlefield

Reject & Deny Land in Trust & MA State Compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe

    1. Michelle Littlefield
    2. Petition by

      Michelle Littlefield

      East Taunton, MA

To members of the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs and United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs:
We oppose the application for Land In Trust of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and protest the review of the Mashpee Wampanoag Compact by the Secretary of the Interior due to the following:

1. Governor Patrick’s letter of support sent to the Secretary of the Interior with the compact, notes that compact negotiations were conducted before the tribe had governmental control of the land; governmental control of land is a requirement of IGRA.
2. IGRA does not have the authority to create trust land, nor can it apply to a tribe that does not have governmental powers over land. Approving a compact without regard to the prerequisites, gives the impression that if you can apply IGRA because a tribe wishes to conduct gaming, trust land will be granted after permission to game. This has not been the case under any administration since IGRA was passed in 1988.
3. The compact claims geographic exclusivity for the tribe in Southeastern MA (Region C) except that the law allows for a slot barn in that region, which negates the exclusivity for anyone gaming in Region C.
4. Governor Patrick is supporting the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s application for trust land despite the Carcieri decision, which eliminates the possibility of trust land for this tribe. Furthermore, Governor Patrick submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States supporting Governor Carcieri in limiting the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to create trust land for tribes recognized after 1934, raising some serious questions about why he is now supporting the application for trust land.
5. Governor Patrick also mentioned pursuing a land claim settlement with the tribe for their land in Mashpee, an issue already decided in Federal court. Also, Governor Patrick cannot circumvent the Supreme Court decision which prevents land claims by Indian tribes in the United States.
6. Governor Patrick’s letter states that mitigation payments will be used for the Commonwealth, when IGRA requires mitigation payments are used to support local governmental operations.
7. Governor Patrick’s letter of support indicates that on June 9, 2012, the host community voted in favor of allowing the casino. This is deliberately misleading because the host community is East Taunton (wards 3B, 4A and 4B see City of Taunton website) which voted against the tribal casino. Wards in Taunton were also allowed to vote on this measure, and those wards voted in favor.
8. Trust land cannot be created in any of the 13 original colonies, which includes Massachusetts, because there is no federal surplus land to place in trust.
9. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe does not have historical ties to the land in East Taunton as required by federal law. The tribe’s Final Determination has already identified Mashpee, Massachusetts as the tribe’s historical land.
10. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe commissioned a study by Harvard University, which resulted in a report in 2011 which states that this tribe does not possess the ability to self-govern.
11. In 2008, Governor Patrick wrote a letter of opposition during the public comment period for the Environmental Impact Study, where he raised many jurisdictional concerns. Governor Patrick noted each objection by asking the tribe to address jurisdictional issues. He now supports this project without any of these issues being addressed.
12. There has been a repeated, ongoing lack of transparency by numerous local and state elected officials who have sworn to uphold the constitution and protect its citizen’s rights.
13. This tribe’s proposed casino location is located in a garden style industrial park with deed restrictions. These restrictions should not be ignored or rezoned to accommodate a casino which is 300 feet from an Elementary School.
14. The Massachusetts State Compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe does not address gaming in Mashpee, Massachusetts; however the Tribe’s Land in Trust application clearly states the Tribe’s desire to receive land into trust for the purpose of gaming. Whereas the compact does not address that possibility, it should not be approved
15. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has submitted a grossly inadequate and incomplete application for Land Into Trust.
16. After assuming a leadership of the tribe, Chairman Cedric Cromwell appeared before the Middleboro Selectmen and assured them that he was committed to honoring the Inter-Governmental Agreement the tribe had signed with the community five years ago. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has since walked away from this deal with little regard to the commitment made to that community, continues to owe that community large sums of money, and since has attempted to make casino deals in Bridgewater, New Bedford and Fall River before approaching Taunton. This tribe is clearly reservation shopping.

Recent signatures


    1. Revised Compact vote tomorrow - PLEASE email or call our Legislators TODAY!

      Michelle Littlefield
      Petition Organizer

      On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, they will be voting on a tribal compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the State of Massachusetts.
      Some important facts to note:
      1. The first compact cost the state millions and was rejected by the federal government (Bureau of Indian Affairs). The federal government (Specifically Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs) sent an 18 page letter outlining what was and was not acceptable in any revised compact negotiated. This second compact does NOT meet the standards set forth by the federal government in that 18 page letter, and again, we have wasted a significant amount of tax dollars to produce this second compact, as well.
      2. The tribe's partial application submitted to the BIA remains incomplete. This is evidence by the lack of notification and publication in the federal register.
      This tribe does not have Land it trust, and does not qualify for land in trust in Taunton.
      PLEASE see the petition on Change.org

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    2. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Edward Ferreira TAUNTON, MA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I do not think that casinos are the answer to our economic woes. We ned to develop productive industry not a predatory industry.

    • Chris Messinger BOSTON, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      I oppose the social costs of gambling, and I hope we can find some other way to compensate a group of people for a horrific and rarely discussed genocide.

    • Eliza sparkes EAST BOSTON, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      I live in East Boston where they are also proposing to build a huge resort-casino. This will do nothing but damage to the community-increased traffic, increased drunk driving, increase addictions to gambling etc. Casinos are NO GOOD for our communities!

    • Mark Downing LAKEVILLE, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      the tribe has few if any historical ties to Taunton

    • Veronica Casey EAST TAUNTON, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      I oppose a casino being built adjacent to a quiet residential neighborhood and so close to an elementary school.


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