Mashpee Receive 321 Acres for First Land-Into Trust Decision


The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe received news today from Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn that they would be acquiring 170 acres of land into trust in the town of Mashpee, Massachusetts.

The land will be used for tribal government, cultural and conservation purposes. Another 151 acres were also put into trust for the tribe in the city of Taunton, Massachusetts for the construction and operation of a gaming facility and resort. The 300-plus acres will become the tribe’s first lands held in trust according to the Department of the Interior announcement.

The Taunton land will feature more than just a casino/resort for the tribe as plans are in place for three hotels, an event center, restaurants, retail stores and a water park. The project is expected to create at least 3,500 full-time and part-time positions and 287 construction jobs.

“The tribe’s origins in southeastern Massachusetts predate the arrival of Europeans on this continent,” Washburn said in his decision.  “At the time of initial European contact, the tribe’s ancestors occupied all of modern-day Bristol, Barnstable, and Plymouth counties.”  Washburn said that the tribe’s descendants were dispersed and lost much of their land in these areas to English settlers. 

More to come.

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