Casino In Taunton



Nation | Tribe: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

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Routes 24 & Route 140
Taunton, MA 02718

First Light Casino Status

Casino Project stopped by the Fed Government (March 2020)

In March 2020 the U.S. Interior Dept has removed the tribe's reservation status which effectively ended this casino project. Details

Court Reversal (June 2020)

On June 5, 2020 a U.S. district judge stopped the DOI from moving the Mashpee Wampanoag land out of federal trust and ordered the DOI to 'review the matter and issue new findings'. Details

Current Status

The First Light Casino project for Taunton, MA is currently ON HOLD pending the U.S. Department of Interior's appeal in U.S. district court of the June 2020 ruling.


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News Headlines

Will Taunton Casino project resurrect under Biden Administration?January 25, 2021 - The $1 billion Native American casino proposed for Taunton, Massachusetts by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe may have a better chance of approval under the Biden Administration... Read moreTribal land dispute over proposed Taunton casinoDecember 16, 2020 - The Mattakeeset Tribe claims ancestral land rights to the Taunton casino site proposed by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and are seeking formal recognition of their land claim from... Read more Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman is indicted for bribery and extortionNovember 17, 2020 - Federal prosecutors in Boston have filed bibery and extortion changes against the Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the owner of a design company... Read more Judge sides with Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe against DOIJune 13, 2020 - A U.S. district judge in Washington DC has issued a summary judgment to stop the Department of Interior (DOI) from rescinding the reservation status of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe... Read moreFed court places hold on DOI from taking Mashpee land out of trustApril 5, 2020 - A federal court has ordered the Interior Department to stop its removal of the reservation land from trust until May 15 while the court considers a request from the tribe for... Read moreMashpee Wampanoag loses reservation statusMarch 29, 2020 - In a letter from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs last week, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was informed of the decision of U.S. Secretary of the Interior to 'disestablish' the tribe's reservation... Read more Headlines continued...

Casino Proposal

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe proposed four-phase plan to build a $1 billion casino in Taunton about 40 miles south of Boston and 20 miles from Providence.

The plan includes a 150,000 sq-ft casino with 3,000 slots, 150 table games and 40 poker tables, two 12-story hotel towers with 300 rooms each, indoor/Outdoorpater park, a family water park hotel and many restaurants.

For more information, see the following topics:

History & Status

2011

The state enacted the Massachusetts Casino Bill extablishing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and authorizing three regional casinos and a slots parlor.

2012

A non-binding ballot measure in support of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's casino proposal was passed by voters in Taunton, but rejected by voters in East Taunton where the casino would be built.

2015

In Sept 2015 the U.S. Department of the Interior approved the Tribe's request to take their land into federal trust, including their 152-acre casino site in Taunton. This transfer was completed January 8, 2016.

2016

In April the tribe broke ground to begin construction of their casino.

In July construction stopped when a U.S. District Court judge ruled the federal land transfer violated the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The Interior Department appealed.

2017

In April the U.S. Interior Department decided to drop its appeal and seek a legal alternative.

2018

In September Interior Department reversed its decision and conceded that the tribal land could not be kept in trust.

2019

The tribe is seeking federal legislation to overcome its legal challenges to reinstate its trust land and resume its casino project. Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representative that support the tribe (HR 312 and HR 375).

2020

In March 2020 a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 decision by a lower federal court against the 2015 transfer of land owned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe into federal trust.

Later in March the U.S. Department of Interior reversed its decision to transfer the 300 acres of Mashpee Wampanoag land into a reservation.

In April 2020 a federal district judge in Washington D.C. stoppped the Interior Cepartment's removal of the reservation land from trust. The court issued a summary judgement in June requiring the DOI to 'review the matter and issue new findings'.

The court ruling is currently under appeal from the DOI.

In November 2020 the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman was indicted for bribery and extortion in a case related to the architectural design of the casino.

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Gaming

150,000 sq-ft casino
3,000 slot machines
150 table games
40 poker tables
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Restaurant

Food Court - 7 to 10 food outlets
International Buffet
Two Fine Dining Restaurants (Steakhouse / Seafood and Asian
Center Bar with lounge seats and small stage

Hotel

Retail

10 retail stores

Parking

3,200-space parking garage
2,085 surface-parking spaces

FOUR-PHASE CONSTRUCTION PLAN

The First Light casino plan calls for construction to be completed in 4 phases. These phases and their estimated schedules are shown below:

PHASE 1

Completion in Summer 2017

Casino
150,000 Sq. Ft.
3,000 slots
150 table games
40 poker tables
Restaurants
Food Court - 7 to 10 food outlets
International Buffet
Two Fine Dining Restaurants
- Steakhouse / Seafood
- Asian Restaurant
Center Bar with lounge seats and small stage
Retail Space - 10 retail stores
Parking - 2,500 to 3,200 space parking garage and 2,085 surface parking spaces

Casino in taunton uk

PHASE 2


Completion schedule 2018

Hotel Tower 1
300 Rooms
Additional gaming space
12 Stories in height
Spa
Large Pool
Roof Terrace
6 Event / Meeting Rooms

PHASE 3

Completion schedule 32-60 Months

Hotel Tower 2
300 Rooms
Cafe restaurant - 200 seat, open 24 hours

PHASE 4


Completion schedule over 60 Months

Family Water Park Hotel
300 Rooms

Event Center - 15,000 sq ft

Indoor/Outdoor Water Park - 25,000 Sq. Ft.

Parking - additional 700 surface parking spots

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News Articles

Will Taunton Casino project resurrect under Biden Administration?

January 25, 2021

The $1 billion Native American casino proposed for Taunton, Massachusetts by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe may have a better chance for approval under the Biden Administration.

A reversal from the U.S. Department of Interior and a complex legal battle have completely stopped the project. Last June a federal judge ordered the Interior Department to stop and review the Department's decision to remove the casino land out of federal trust. The Department has appealed the ruling to a U.S. district court.

Now with changes in Washington, there is new hope to revive the Taunton casino project, which will be known as the First Light Resort & Casino. President Biden has nominated Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) to be Secretary of the Interior Department. Ms. Haaland is a tribal member of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico and is expected to bring a new perspective to the case.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is hoping the new Interior Secretary will bring a favorable outcome to their First Light Project.

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Tribal land dispute over proposed Taunton casino

December 16, 2020

The Mattakeeset Tribe claims ancestral land rights to the Taunton casino site proposed by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and the Tribe is seeking formal recognition of its land claim from the state and local governments.

The Mattakeeset land claim is based on a recently published book from the Netherlands that mentions a 1664 deed granting the land around Taunton, Middleborough, Bridgewater and parts of Duxbury to the Mattakeesets in perpetuity. The book is published by Jeremy Bangs of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. The museum is dedicated to the Pilgrim Fathers and located in Leiden, Netherlands.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe disputes the claim and plans to build a casino in Taunton named First Light Resort and Casino. The casino site is part of a 300-acre reservation granted to the Tribe in late 2016. The U.S. Department of Interior reversed the decision and 'disestablished' the reservation in March 2020. A federal judge stopped the action in June 2020, and the case is currently under appeal by the Interior Department.

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Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman is indicted for bribery and extortion

November 17, 2020

Federal prosecutors in Boston have filed bibery and extortion changes against the Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the owner of an architecture

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Charged With Bribery In Casino Development - Courtesy of CBS BOSTON, Nov 13, 2020. Available from YouTube

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Judge sides with Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe against DOI

June 13, 2020

On June 5 a U.S. district judge in Washington DC issued a summary judgment to stop the Department of Interior (DOI) from rescinding the reservation status of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and ordering the department to 'review the matter and issue new findings'.

Judge Paul Friedman found the actions of the DOI were 'arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law.'

Judge Sides With Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe In Lawsuit Over Reservation Status
Courtesy of CBS 4 WBZ Boston. Available from YouTube

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Fed court places hold on DOI from taking Mashpee land out of trust

April 5, 2020

The U.S. Department of Interior announced a decision last month to 'disestablished' the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's reservation status and transfer back the land held in federal trust. The land had been placed into trust in 2016 to allow the tribe to build an Indian gaming casino on it.

This week a federal district judge in Washington D.C. ordered the Interior Department to stop its removal of the reservation land from trust until May 15 while the court considers a request from the tribe for a permanent injunction to block the action.

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Mashpee Wampanoag loses reservation status

March 29, 2020

In a letter from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs last week, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was informed of the decision of U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to 'disestablish' the tribe's reservation and remove its land from federal trust.

In 2015 the Department of Interior transferred the Mashpee Wampanoag land into trust giving the tribe sovereignty rights for self-government instead of local and state government regulation. The step is necessary for building an Indian casino on the reservation under the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell protested the decision:

'Today's action was cruel and it was unnecessary. The Secretary is under no court order to take our land out of trust. He is fully aware that litigation to uphold our status as a tribe eligible for the benefits of the Indian Reorganization Act is ongoing. It begs the question, what is driving our federal trustee's crusade against our reservation?'

After a long legal fight the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in February that the land transfer into trust was not in compliance with the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act and should not have been authorized by the Department of Interior.

An attorney for the tribe, Benjamin Wish, says the Interior Department's decision to remove the land from trust is a misinterpretation of the court's ruling:

'No court has ever ordered the Department to take the Tribe's land out of trust. The District Court did not so order. The First Circuit did not so order. In fact, neither court ordered anyone to do anything.'

A spokesman for the Department of the Interior, Conner Swanson, cites the court's decision as a mandate for the department's action and reconfirmed the Mashpee Wampanoag remain a federally-recognized tribe.

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Mashpee Wampanoag lose in U.S. Appeals Court

March 1, 2020

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a lower court decision that the U.S. Department of Interior was not authorized under the federal Indian Reorganization Act to transfer land owned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe into federal trust. The federal land transfer was completed in 2015 and is the most fundamental step to building a tribal casino.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has lived in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area for 12,000 years and shared the First Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in 1621. It was not until 2007 that the federal government granted formal recognition to the tribe.

The court ruled the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 restricted federal land-to-trust transfers for only those tribes recognized prior to 1934. Other courts have expanded the interpretation of this law with newer regulations to permit all federally-recognized tribes to qualify for casino land.

Tribe chairman, Cedric Cromwell, said after the ruling:

'There's no question that this is a grave injustice. We will continue to fight, as our ancestors did, to preserve our land base, our culture and our spiritual connection to our homelands.'

The tribe is also looking for support from Congress to override this ruling. The House has passed legislation backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and sent it to the Senate for consideration. However, President Trump opposes the bill which he brands a 'special-interest casino bill'.

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First Light Casino Project Expects Final Outcome on Oct 15

July 8, 2019

A final decision is pending in DC District Court that will determine whether the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe can build an Indian gaming casino in Taunton, Massachusetts.

After years of legal battles and a 2018 reversal by the Interior Department against the land-to-trust transfer, the final outcome for the Taunton casino will be determined by three groups: U.S. Department of Interior, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the City of Taunton.

Last week the District Court released court filings from each of these groups. Each group agreed to a timetable to reach a final outcome.

  • The U.S. Department of Interior has until July 19 to file an additional explanation for reversing its decision to take Mashpee Tribe land into trust.

  • The Mashpee Tribe will then submit their response by July 26.

The are two possible outcomes expected from this case:

  1. If the Department of Interior approves the Mashpee casino, the tribe will proceed with building the first Light Casino Resort. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is then expected to close licensing other casinos in the southeast region.

  2. If the Department of Interior rejects transferring land into trust for the Mashpee, the tribe may seek a commercial casino license for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, or make a political push in Congress to pass federal legislation supported by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).

The final decision of the DC District Cour is scheduled for October 15.

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U.S. House Passes Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Bill

May 15, 2019

House Bill 312 was passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives after being pulled from the floor last week following President Trump's opposition tweet. The vote was 275 to 146 and included 47 republicans and all but 2 Democrats.

The bill, titled 'Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act', would reaffirm the tribe's sovereignty over its 321 acres of land by insuring the land is transferred into federal trust. The tribe intends to use part of that land to build its First Light Resort and Casino.

The bill will now head to the Senate which may or may not take up the measure. If passed by the Senate, It may be vetoed by the President.

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Trump's Tweet Stops Warren Casino Bill

Two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that would help the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reinstate their casino project were pulled by House leadership just hours before a scheduled vote by the full House.

The decision by Democratic leaders followed a tweet from President Trump that read:

'Republicans shouldn't vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn't treat Native Americans equally!' - Trump tweet 11:48 a.m. Wednesday

The bills had passed the House Natural Resources Committee and were on a fast track for a house vote Wednesday. The bills will now move through the regular legislative process.

H.R.312 'Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act'
Introduced 01/08/2019 by Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA)
This bill would reaffirm the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reservation as trust land and dismiss all pending actions and lawsuits in federal court.

H.R. 375
Introduced 01/09/2019 by Rep. Tom Cole(R-OK)
This bill would amend the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes, and for other purposes.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren publicly supports the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, but it now appears her support may have become a liability.

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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Re-affirmation Bill Goes to Congress

January 8, 2019

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe hopes the U.S Congress will reconsider and pass legislation to keep the tribe's reservation land in federal trust and allow the tribe to proceed with its casino plans. A Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Re-affirmation bill was reintroduced to Congress on Jan 8 by U.S. representatives William Keating and Joe Kennedy.

'We are extremely grateful that a bipartisan group of Congressional representatives understands the injustice of taking sovereign land away from the first Americans and have moved swiftly to ensure this nation does not return to the dark days of removing indigenous people from their land,' wrote Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell in a statement released Monday.

The bill must first pass the Senate and House and signed by the President before a legal challenged can be launched.

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Taunton Casino Plan Appears Dead

September 07, 2018

On Friday a decision was made that put the future Taunton Casino development on hold. The casino project would be owned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod. The casino would have cost $1 billion to complete.

The tribe was notified that the land where they wanted to build the casino would not be placed into trust for them by the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 2015 300 acres were placed into trust by the department for the tribe. The tribe was then able to use the land as their sovereign reservation as it was declared as such by the federal government. However, long lasting and ongoing legal battles by residents in the area caused a delay in the project. The department was then ordered by a federal judge to reconsider the action of placing the land into trust. The judge ruled that putting the land into trust did not fall under the authority of the department to do so.

In the ruling that was 28 pages long, it was said that land cannot be placed into trust for the tribe under the Indian Reorganization Act. The act was passed in 1934. Under this act, the tribe does not qualify to have the land placed into trust because it was not under the federal jurisdiction when it passed.

The tribe can trace their ancestors back to the arrival of the Pilgrims. However, they did not receive their federal recognition until 2007.

The federal government can grant a special status by placing land into trust. The property title is held by the government and allows for a tribe to use the land for their own use under their own decisions. They are free to use the land's natural resources and are tax exempt.

Ground was previously broken for the Taunton Casino project. However, construction was stopped by the tribe after the ruling.

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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reaffirmation Act would allow construction of Taunton casino

June 21, 2018

As of now, 26 letters of support have been submitted for the proposed bill called the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reaffirmation Act. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe have been attempting to develop a casino in Taunton. Support for the project has been growing recently. 21 individual tribes, nonprofits, and pan-tribal organizations have submitted their support for the project.

Currently the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe are waiting for a committee hearing to be scheduled by state lawmakers. The tribe is interested in ending the legal battles regarding their reservation.

The proposed bill would end the controversy over property ownership. The land in Taunton was agreed upon to be taken into trust for the tribe. However, the land was sold for the price of $1 billion to neighbors that oppose the project after the lawsuit was ruled in their favor.

The concern is that the 150 acres of land in Taunton will be taken out of trust by the U.S. Department of Interior. The tribe also owns 171 acres of land in Mashpee.

Meetings are being scheduled by the Interior Department with tribal leaders from across the country. The meetings are in regard to taking land into trust for the tribes. The department is looking for recommendations on changes for the current regulation.

One of the changes that the Interior Department is considering is how to comply with court orders asking land to be removed from the trust.

Recently Rush Street casino company submitted a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The company is located in Chicago. They are interested in joining with the Brockton Fairgrounds to develop a casino. That casino would cost $677 million to complete.

The proposed casino in Brockton was originally denied in April 2016. The state gaming commission rejected the plan with a vote of 4 to 1. Now Rush Street is asking for a reconsideration for their plan.

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News Headlines Continued

2020

Mashpee Wampanoag lose in U.S. Appeals CourtMarch 1, 2020 - A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision against the 2015 transfer of land owned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe into federal trust for the purpose of building a tribal casino.... Read more

2019

First Light Casino Project Expects Final Outcome on Oct 15July 8, 2019 - The legal battle of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a $1B casino resort in Taunton could reach a final conclusion by the DC District Court on Oct 15.... Read moreU.S. House Passes Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation BillMay 15, 2019 - The House passed HR Bill 312 to reaffirm the reservation land of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and allowing construction of the First Light Resort and Casino.... Read moreTrump's Tweet Stops Warren Casino BillMay 8, 2019 - Two bills in the U.S. House that would reinstate the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino project were both pulled from a House vote today after a tweet by Pres. Trump.... Read moreMashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Re-affirmation Bill Goes to CongressJanuary 8, 2019 - The Mashpee tribe hopes Congress will take a new look at a bill to keep the tribe's reservation land in federal trust and allow the tribe to proceed with its casino plans.... Read more

2018

Taunton Casino Plan Appears DeadSeptember 7, 2018 - A federal judge has stopped the U.S. Interior Department from transferring 300 acres of tribal land into federal trust. This may effectively end the Taunton casino project.Casino In Taunton... Read moreMashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reaffirmation Act would allow construction of Taunton casinoJune 21, 2018 - A proposed bill called the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reaffirmation Act to allow building the Taunton casino is gaining support.... Read more

2017

12.28.2017 Mashpee close Taunton Casino Office
Return to: Massachusetts Casinos.


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BOSTON (AP) — A rift is widening between Native American groups in New England over who has claim to scores of acres south of Boston where one tribe has been trying for years to build a $1 billion casino.

The recently revived Mattakeeset Massachuset Tribe argues it’s the rightful heir to the land in Taunton set aside by the federal government for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which is planning to build a hotel, casino and entertainment complex.

The Mattakeesets want the Mashpees and state and local authorities to recognize their land claim, which they base on colonial-era documents.

“They blatantly fooled the whole entire country about this land belonging to them,” said Larry Fisher, who has been working to revive the tribe since becoming its chief sachem in 2014, of the Mashpees. “We just want the truth to be told. It belongs to us. The Mattakeesets.”

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which famously traces its ancestry to the Native Americans who shared a fall harvest with the Pilgrims 400 years ago, counter that Fisher’s group is just a smaller band within the broader Wampanoag people who have inhabited Massachusetts for thousands of years.

The Mattakeeset Tribe currently has a few hundred members, according to Fisher, but does not have federal recognition or a land base like the Mashpee Tribe, which was federally recognized in 2007 and has roughly 3,000-members.

“Larry is well-meaning but very confused,” said Steven Peters, the Mashpee Tribe’s spokesman. “The Mattakeesets and the Massachusets are Wampanoags.”

The dustup is the latest wrinkle in the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s tortured, years-long quest for federally protected land — and the lucrative rights to build a tax-exempt casino on it.

The Cape Cod-based tribe was granted a more than 300-acre reservation in the waning months of the Obama administration in 2016, but the Trump administration moved to revoke the reservation in what the tribe and its supporters complained was a dangerous precedent. A federal judge in June halted the move; the Interior Department has appealed.

Meanwhile, the tribe’s prominent, longtime chairman was arrested last month on federal bribery charges in connection with the casino project. Cedric Cromwell has denied the allegations, but has been ousted as chairman by tribe leaders.

Fisher, a 33-year-old Boston-area substance abuse counselor, said his tribe has no quarrel with the half of the tribe’s roughly 300-acre reservation that’s located in the town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, where the tribe has operated a government center and other tribe services for years.

But he contends the Taunton-area half, located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Mashpee, was never part of the rival tribe’s historic territory.

Fisher points to a book published last month by Jeremy Bangs, founder of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum in the Netherlands, which argues that a 1664 deed designated the lands as the “Titicut Reserve” and specifically set it aside for the Mattakeesets in perpetuity. Fisher says the deeded lands encompass all of what is today Taunton, Middleborough and Bridgewater, as well as parts of Duxbury.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Casino News

Complaints that the Mashpees are inflating their ancestral territory at the expense of other Native Americans aren’t new. At least two members of other Massachusetts tribes have raised the issue in recent years, and local casino opponents have made similar arguments in their long-running federal court challenge.

Casino Taunton Ma

The state Commission on Indian Affairs hasn’t officially waded into the debate, but John Peters, the agency’s executive director and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, was skeptical of the rival tribe’s claim.

Casino In Taunton Mass

“To give credibility to a self-proclaimed chief of a tribe that hasn’t been heard of in several hundred years demeans the integrity of our culture,” he said.

Bangs said he wrote the book, which expands on his previous published works on New England’s Native American tribes and European colonists, to shed light on a part of local history he believes has become blurred over the years.

“Some of the Wampanoags have tried to pretend the Massachusetts never existed, and that goes against hundreds of years of history,” he said. “They don’t call the state Massachusetts for nothing.”

Bangs, a former chief curator at Plimoth Patuxet, a Massachusetts museum that recreates the historic English colony with period actors, stressed his work wasn’t funded by the Mattakeesets or other interests.

The historical evidence, he added, is in plain sight: the colonial documents cited in his book are housed at the county registry of deeds in Plymouth.

Peters, the spokesman for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, said he and other tribe scholars haven’t reviewed Bangs’ book.

He said the tribe has invited Fisher for a sit down to review the Mashpee Tribe’s land claim evidence, which he said is detailed in more than 14,000 pages the tribe submitted for its federal land in trust application.

Fisher counters that no such olive branch has been offered, despite his attempts to meet with Mashpee leaders over the years.

He said his tribe is instead focused on asserting its jurisdiction on its ancestral lands, which includes hosting ceremonies and other recent gatherings at Camp Titicut, a 25-acre park in Bridgewater with a Native American burial ground, without seeking town permits.

Fisher said the tribe has also raised its concerns to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Tribal Justice, which didn’t respond to a request for comment this week.

And while it supports legislation creating a state tribal recognition process in Massachusetts, he said the tribe isn’t pursuing federal recognition. That special status acknowledges a tribe’s sovereignty and provides access to federal funding and other benefits, so long as the tribe can show it’s a distinct community that’s been in existence since 1900 with some form of governance.

“At this time, we are looking to move on all efforts of sustainable and cultural development on our tribal lands,” Fisher said. “With or without state or federal support.”