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

According to an Associated Press article, the state has not suffered from the casinos, which brought tremendous revenue into Connecticut, even during the worst of the recession, and in some areas crime declined. “I’d say those fears have not come to pass,” said Montville Mayor Ron McDaniel. However, the town of Ledyard, which hosts the Foxwood Casino, did see an increase in traffic and crime rates.

A letter of support from the National Congress of American Indians asked Connecticut “to recognize its legal, historical, and political relationship with those tribes within Connecticut” whose tribal structures predate the Constitution of the United States. It asked for Connecticut to “respect the inherent sovereignty of those tribes and to engage in good faith bargaining” and “to refrain from using the Bureau of Indian Affairs regulatory process and the courts to delay a legitimate federal tribal recognition decision.”

Both the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation received federal recognition and saw those decisions reversed through political pressure from the state.

Eastern Pequot Tribal Chairman Dennis Jenkins wants the state to know that the Eastern Pequots are interested in pursuing economic development projects other than casinos, especially since more casinos will be opening in nearby Massachusetts. “Other tribes have energy plants, and wind; we could bring manufacturing jobs into the state,” he said.

Chairman Dennis Jenkins wonders why the state is so stuck in their ideas about casinos, when the tribes could bring manufacturing jobs to the state. (Christina Rose)

However, none of the tribes would give up the right to open a casino, and that is the position mainstream Connecticut cannot get beyond.

“It’s unfortunate we have to fight a state that has the duty to take care of us,” Jenkins said. “Instead, they are trying to destroy us.”

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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.