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Massachusetts tribe opposes tribal land bill in Congress

January 29, 2019

AQUINNAH, Mass. (AP) — A Native American tribe on Martha’s Vineyard says it is opposed to federal legislation aimed at securing land for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in Aquinnah said in a Jan. 22 letter that a bill introduced by Democratic U.S. Rep. William Keating would have an adverse impact on the tribe’s ability to acquire additional ancestral land.

The Cape Cod Times reports that Keating in a statement said his legislation is tailored specifically to make sure the Mashpee tribe is protected from having its land removed from a trust.

The bill would end ongoing litigation challenging the Mashpee tribe’s reservation. Aquinnah Tribal Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais says her tribe should be included in the legislation.

Keating’s office says it will work with the Aquinnah tribe to address concerns.

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Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodtimes.com

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