“To reservation-shop in somebody else’s ancestral territory? That’s just ridiculous. Back in the day there’d be war if you come into somebody else’s land. Right? We’d fight over stuff like that.’’
- Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson, Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe Vice Chairman.
Middleboro Remembers provides great insights today into reports that Masphee Wampanoag attempts to extend their reach into Taunton violate Pocasset ancestral rights. The Boston Globe's Mark Arsenault similarly details the latest in a long string of gaffes by the Malaysian-gaming syndicate backed Mashpee tribal council in their quest for casino gold. Bottom line, Taunton can anticipated even longer delays, lawsuits and black eyes associated with hopes for jobs and any far-fetched economic upsides to locating an Indian reservation casino in town.
The territorial challenge to the Mashpee Wampanoag will be hard to beat back given that their own Mashpee tribal membership ordinances have geographically defined residency requirements that excludes anyone who lives more than 20 miles away from Mashpee from being able to claim they are a Mashpee Wampanoag. Of course, the tribe's own council chairman Cedric Cromwell didn't follow this ordinance - he lived in Attleboro when he "found" his Indian roots in 2006.
Taunton is 50 miles away from Masphee - well outside their own defined territorial boundaries - but less than 20 miles from the Pocasset headquarters and well within their historically defined boundaries. Sadly, the Pocasset lack federal recognition and the Masphee have a very bad history of playing well with others so any compromise is unlikely. Regardless, existing federal laws will block the Masphee from moving forward anytime in the near future. Don't hold your breath Taunton, your wild ride with the Mashpee tribe is only just beginning.