Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One little, two little, 2633 little Indians...

Cedric Cromwell's "most recent" application attempt for Land in Trust (LIT) submitted to the Bureau for Indian Affairs makes for amusing reading if you can wade through the typos and gaping holes for "to be submitted" tabs and data.  Of the data submitted one set of the many conflicting pieces of  information that glaringly stands out relates to the Tribe's enrollment.


Now Mashpee Wampanoag enrollment has been a contentious issue among Tribe members ever since Cedric Cromwell  took office and locked down the enrollment office records from view of other Tribes members.  You see, Cedric himself only became an enrolled member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in 2006.  As readers of this and other spaces like Reel Wamps know, Cedric Cromwell's personal credentials for membership qualification are much in question.


One key membership requirement, spelled out in the Tribe's federal recognition application, is that to be a tribe member you must live within 20 miles of Mashpee (Mashpee Ordinance 9/21/2006, 1-2).  Now Cedric grew up in Dorchester and lived in Attleboro (some 50+ miles away from Mashpee) when he found his Indian heritage sufficient to actually enroll as a formal member.  It now appears he's encouraged others to follow suit.


In 2007 when the tribe had to submit formal enrollment numbers for their federal recognition they listed 1,400 members of the Tribe.  Today, just five years hence, Cedric has submitted new enrollment numbers showing more than 2,600 members - an 86 percent increase!  And, to help make their case that the Mashpee band of Wampanoag can lay claims - both historical and current - to distant Taunton in order to build their Indian casino it appears the federally defined membership requirement of living "near Mashpee" (Mashpee Wampanoag federal tribal recognition on pg 26 states that “near Mashpee” means having a residence “within 20 miles of Mashpee”) no longer applies.  

That's certainly a lot of new Indian's in such a short time period. It certainly appears that in addition to "reservation shopping" Cedric Cromwell has been doing some Indian shopping as well to make sure he can fit his square pegged tribe into Taunton's round hole for the purposes of his LIT application.  To make his case that the Tribe has ties to Taunton he claims 2,633 members, but in his residency listing he provides data on only 1,700 - in which at least one new member resides in Taunton.

However, in other parts of his LIT application with the Tribe's detailed claim and enrollment registry of 2,633 members, the Tribe's "need" claims showing they suffer from higher health problems and lower economic opportunities are based on evaluations of fewer than 325 enrolled members. Seems like they're using some highly selective and suspect data to make their case to BIA that they meet the need requirements for being allowed a casino.

So, what is it?  Are there now 2,633 Mashpee Wampanoag's sprinkled throughout the Commonwealth well outside the tribe's own mandated rule of living within 20 miles of Mashpee as claimed in their application?  Are there 1,708 as listed in their application "Massachusetts Residency Data" section?  Or are there 324 members referenced in their "Health Status" needs claim section? Or the 399 members used to generate their median income needs assessment?

They say numbers don't lie.  But it appears the Mashpee Wampanoag just might - and their numbers simply don't add up.  Good luck collecting any shared revenue if  Taunton's Wampa Word casino uses these same accounting methods.


16 comments:

  1. The talk of this casino raking in over 500 mill a year is complete rubbish, it wont make 5 million, has anyone left mass lately and seen all the empty casinos nationwide, go take a look at Vegas, if they aint going there, they aint coming to Taunton. Take a look around Taunton, you tell me where 500 million is coming from....EBT cash advances? People are gambling less, fact.... face it people, this economy is struggling.

    No smoking and one in Boston area(public transportation for drinkers and others) will make sure this casino, excuse me "resort destination" gets no business.

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  2. Gee,

    Looks like you figured it out already but lets wait and see what hapens:)

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  3. excellent post. We were highlighting the requirements for tribal members in the Federal Register just the other night. This application is strange...mostly because it mentions wanting land for a casino in Taunton, yet provides nothing to back up why it qualifies as an initial reservation, nevermind meeting requirements for gaming. They mention certain parts of CFR 292 and ignore the most important parts that spell out what is needed to even get this so called application through the BIA. There are so many things wrong with this application, and so many things missing....but I will say...some phone calls to key offices in the Federal Government is slowly but surely clearing it all up. How Cedric Cromwell is still Tribal Chair is beyond me. He does not care at all about the tribal members or their heritage, only a casino, that much is crystal clear.

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    1. Let’s see what the BIA says at the end of the day, I welcome the scrutiny but it will not stop as soon as the BIA approves there will be another hurdle there always is just one more thing, some things never change!

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  4. I don't understand how you can submit legal documents to the federal government for something as important as taking land within the United States outside of U.S. control and taxation that includes this conflicts in reporting something as critical to the application as how many people are in your tribe???? Is it possible that BIA would allow for this type of sloppiness (or is it blatant false filing of information) and do other land trust applications make similar contradictory claims about membership and selective use of member data on economic need to qualify for benefits?

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    1. See when you stick with logical questions and ths is a good one, you may find a logical answer. I say this let us see if your very good point is shown to have any teeth. We now have a baseline question that can be asked and answered by a third impartial party the BIA. Let’s see what their finding produce I think you would have to agree they have no vested interest in supporting criminal activity (if it exists at within the tribe). I am glad you asked this question because if the BIA vets the LIT then most of what you have been saying will be proved to be innuendo and half truths. However if your assertions are proved to be right then that is also a plus for the Tribe!!! I see no down side other than to simply show the truth of the matter. I was always told to remove the curtain to let the sunlight in and it would appear that is going to happen one way or the other and I for one will accept either outcome; I just wonder what you are going to do if the BIA approves the LIT process.

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  5. Hey all tribal members (and spouse's) get ready for thr clam bake hosted by your Tribal Elder's to thank the Gov for signing away your rights .Oh yeah did I tell you this bake is going to cost the tribe upwards of 12000 to 13000 remember that this winter or even now when your heat or lights,telephone is shut off or you need help with your house or rent .The council will be living large on your dime ,that you have to pay back.So enjoy your day.

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  6. Dollars to donuts you will be there

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  7. Why not it is a free meal isn't it ? Might as well get something.You know what I mean.

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  8. Well, with nearly 2,700 enrolled tribal members - $12K is less than $5 a head for enrolled members! Add in all the politicians and consultants on Cedric's payroll and the per person cost is darn cheap.

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  9. Well I hear they have a cut off so not all members will get a clambake.So the politicians and consultants will eat while tribal members look in.So yeah it is darn cheap.Also the 2700 enrolled members do not all live in the area or they are children under 18 so they get hamburger and hotdogs as they can't vote why give them a lobster.So yeah it is darn cheap of them.So Delahunt will get a lobster before a real Tribal Elder does .So yeah darn cheap.

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  10. A real tribal memberAugust 21, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Is it true that the clambake is going to be a first come first served ,then when nothing is left that is it? Why send out invitations and have members call in to reserve ?

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  11. Miss Montana WildhackAugust 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Riot!

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  12. Good luck with that clambake, I hope they have someone in charge to make sure it goes well, not many clambakes in Dorchester where the chief is from. By the way, free lunches are up 75% in 4 years in CC "public" schools, but yet people are saving money to gamble right? I cannot believe the real Mashpee are putting up with this nonsense,I say don't show up and let the Dorchester crew eat it all, again how does a DOT rat lead a tribe from CC?

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  13. By corruption and thru corruption,that is how he got to be the Chair(not the Chief).

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