Judge ridicules Interior Dept. document on taking back land from Mashpee Wampanoag tribe

  • Published on May 28th, 2020

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that welcomed the pilgrims in 1620 has been fighting with the federal government over the removal of the tribe’s 321 acres of communal land from trust status.

By Meteor Blades

The Mashpee argue that the Interior Department that handles trust lands through the Bureau of Indian Affairs—which many Native peoples have for decades labeled the Bureau of Indifference and Arrogance—overlooked evidence when the decision was made to yank the land out of trust.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said an Interior memo addressing the issue that was released March 5 was one of the most poorly written documents he has ever read, peppered with grammar and spelling errors.  “And you can tell your client that. It’s a joke,” Friedman told the government after it refused during the teleconference hearing to reconsider the tribe’s status retroactively.

The tribe seeks to build a casino on its land, as other tribes have done across the nation over the past three decades.

Granted approval during the Obama administration, the project faced opposition from Trump allies who sought to build a casino in Rhode Island. The plaintiffs in the First Circuit battle acted as intervenors in the case before Judge Friedman on Wednesday.

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

About the Author

Meteor Blades is a writer and contributing editor at DailyKos. He believes there is something profoundly wrong with our system. - the unchecked accumulation of wealth and power into the hands of a very small group of corporate business interests has contributed to the wholesale corruption of our political system. For an understanding about the level of corruption in our country, he encourages you to view these two PBS documentaries: (1). ,The Untouchables; (2) The United States of ALEC.

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