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Tribe reaches deal with highway officials on burial sites

May 19, 2015

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has reached an agreement with federal and state transportation officials over the preservation of tribal burial sites.

The memorandum of understanding calls for the Federal Highway Administration and the state Department of Transportation to consult with the tribe’s Historic Preservation Office on federally-funded projects affecting burial grounds and other historically and culturally important sites.

The Mashpee Wampanoag says it’s the first such agreement between a tribe and federal and state transportation agencies.

A signing ceremony was held Monday in Mashpee, during which federal highway officials said they hope to use the agreement as a model in other states.

The Mashpee Wampanoag became a federally-recognized tribe in 2007. Based on Cape Cod, their ancestral lands included much of southeastern Massachusetts.

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