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July 9, 2018

Land case raises red flags in Indian Country

  • A Massachusetts tribe could lose trust status for its 321 acres, threatening several projects including a $1 billion casino and hotel complex.
    Associated Press

    MASHPEE, Mass. — A modest courthouse and a fledgling police force, a housing development for American Indian families and a school where students are taught exclusively in the tribe's ancestral language. These are the visible signs of an independent tribal nation that has grown on the famous vacation getaway of Cape Cod in recent years.

    But the future of those and other developments is uncertain as the Mashpee Wampanoag — the tribe whose ancestors broke bread with the Pilgrims nearly four centuries ago — awaits a decision from the Interior Department on whether it can continue to govern a slice of its historic lands.

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