Christina Rose
The Eastern Pequot Reservation is 224 acres, of which only about 25 percent is suitable for housing.

Connecticut Attacks Proposed Fed Rec Revisions, Fears Land Claims, Casinos

Christina Rose

Three Connecticut state recognized tribes, all of whom were denied federal recognition more than 10 years ago, have another chance to apply due to newly proposed federal recognition regulations, issued recently by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

One of the changes in the proposed regulations is an expedited positive ruling for state tribes that have held land since 1934. If the changes are approved, the Eastern Pequot, the Schaghticoke, and the Golden Hill Paugussett could now qualify for federal recognition, which would allow them to pursue many avenues of economic development and cultural revitalization. All have held land for hundreds of years.

Nedra Darling, spokeswoman for the BIA, said, “The proposed ‘expedited positive’ process is primarily to be used for petitions in which there is no serious challenge among the local community and state.” Connecticut’s congressional delegation has announced they will dispute the new regulations.

“We will fight like hell,” announced U.S. Congressional Representative Rosa DeLauro to attendees at an April 16, Woodbury, Connecticut Town Hall Meeting.

DeLauro said she was concerned about the tribe’s land claims and that, “The Golden Hill Paugussett could potentially make another play for homeowners homes, and this is not a scare tactic, I want to be upfront.”

The Golden Hill Paugussett and Schaghticoke have said they would be willing to exchange land claims to build casinos in Danbury and Bridgeport, Connecticut. The City of Bridgeport passed a referendum in support of casinos that could bring thousands of jobs to that impoverished city.

The state, however, is just saying no. DeLauro told the town hall meeting that additional casinos would void the compacts with the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans. Together the two tribes have brought more than $5 billion to the state, according to Connecticut State Senator Kevin Witkos.


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sthibodeau's picture
Submitted by sthibodeau on
It baffles me that people are trying to create different Tribes....They were all one Pequot Tribe, and disbanding has been the result of their potential demise. They should all join as one Tribe and prosper together! Also, to be a Tribe should not be about starting a casino and becoming wealthy, if that is the sole purpose, then you have already failed. Also, the state should not be arguing since the state is responsible for the separations, and attempt at depleting Native culture. Taxes should be paid to the Tribes, fair enough.

Justice11's picture
Submitted by Justice11 on
Federal Recognition was sought before casino's came about. It's not about a casino. The state of Connecticut allowed GAMING REMEMBER. Now they want to blame tribes for their OWN GREED. The 3rd Party Veto violates the Constitutional rights of those Tribes affected…. Tribes that have been recognized by the State of Connecticut for almost 300 years….Tribes that were once recognized through a long and expensive process. If this amendment is left standing; it will seize the decision making power of Federal Recognition from the BIA and Congress. Connecticut choose to spend the $$$ to protect their poorly made compact with CT's other Tribes. Should a Reversed Positive stand because of Connecticut’s GREED? Tribes who played by the rules, and followed the law; should they lose their history, their identity, their language, and their right to govern themselves? One word………… GREED? Again back door deals, visits to the White House, including phone calls to the BIA. The process is supposed to be “free from politics.” Don’t let Connecticut politicians dirty the process again. 3rd Party Veto will spread throughout Indian Country, it WILL NOT STOP here. Senator Blumenthal said he wants to do more. This is not about casino’s……… assimilation, genocide and racism are still very much alive in Connecticut. Take a stand. Make your voice heard. Support the RESTORATION of Federal Recognition regarding Connecticut’s Tribes.