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

Not all of the Woodbury audience agreed with DeLauro. One woman suggested that new casinos might bring competition to the industry and make up funds lost from the Pequot and Mohegan compacts. “Homeowners rights would be protected, Native claims honored, and taxpayers income is protected,” the woman said. Another audience member said it is unlikely the homeowners would be faced with losing their homes, and that there would be a negotiated settlement.

Yet, DeLauro insists the state has no interest in negotiating. She said, “I think the changes we have suggested are what we need. We are looking at eliminating the expedited favorable ruling.”

Apparently, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is of the same mind. In protest of the new regulations, he went to Washington and hand delivered a letter to President Barack Obama.

Malloy’s list of complaints states, “In Connecticut, reservations have been maintained simply because there are descendants of the groups for which the reservations were first established,” implying the tribal members are merely descendants.

Malloy complained that the new regulations favor the tribes rather than the state and that giving federal recognition to the tribes now would overturn previous court decisions.

Ruth Garby Torres, Schaghticoke, author of a chapter in the book, Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles, and Indigenous Rights in the United States: A Sourcebook, said that in her opinion, the state is afraid of gaming expansion based on outdated information. Torres said the Schaghticokes are well aware the Kent area is not appropriate for casinos and destructive planning. She said, “People are afraid of traffic, crime, disrupting the beauty of the area, the lack of control, building something without the town’s zoning influence. What is not being discussed is, that’s our land. We see the beauty, too! Why do you think we would do that?”

Ruth Garby Torres believes the Connecticut Delegation has less to fear than they think, and should negotiate with the tribes. (Ruth Garby Torres)

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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.