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Patrick presses Obama to break a promise

The decision by the federal gvernment in 2007 to recognize the Mashpee Wampanoag as a historic Indian tribe documents tribal efforts to preserve their rights. The decision relies on extensive evidence, including census records from 1694 ...Gov. Deval Patrick is now pressing President Obama to break this promise and to ignore the federal rights of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Indian tribes.

The decision by the federal gvernment in 2007 to recognize the Mashpee Wampanoag as a historic Indian tribe documents tribal efforts to preserve their rights. The decision relies on extensive evidence, including census records from 1694, that shows the continuous existence of a few hundred native people in Mashpee, living as they always had - free to hunt, fish and use the natural resources that sustain them - until around 1970, when development of their lands began in earnest.

The decision also documents Mashpee's 1833 "revolt" for freedom of religion when Benjamin Franklin Hallett, the first chairman of the Democratic National Committee, denounced degrading attacks against them and advocated for the just enforcement of their rights.

Massachusetts Historic Preservation Officer Brona Simon issued her findings confirming Wampanoag religious cultural interests in Nantucket Sound on Nov. 5, the same day President Obama met with representatives of America's 564 federally recognized Indian tribes. At that time, he promised his administration would observe the law in its dealings with them.

Gov. Deval Patrick is now pressing President Obama to break this promise and to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The decision by the federal gvernment in 2007 to recognize the Mashpee Wampanoag as a historic Indian tribe documents tribal efforts to preserve their rights. The decision relies on extensive evidence, including census records from 1694, that shows the continuous existence of a few hundred native people in Mashpee, living as they always had - free to hunt, fish and use the natural resources that sustain them - until around 1970, when development of their lands began in earnest.

The decision also documents Mashpee's 1833 "revolt" for freedom of religion when Benjamin Franklin Hallett, the first chairman of the Democratic National Committee, denounced degrading attacks against them and advocated for the just enforcement of their rights.

Massachusetts Historic Preservation Officer Brona Simon issued her findings confirming Wampanoag religious cultural interests in Nantucket Sound on Nov. 5, the same day President Obama met with representatives of America's 564 federally recognized Indian tribes. At that time, he promised his administration would observe the law in its dealings with them.

Gov. Deval Patrick is now pressing President Obama to break this promise and to ignore the federal rights of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Indian tribes. Governor Patrick said at his inaugural, "Massachusetts invented America. American ideals were first spoken here, first dreamed about here." The centuries-long struggle of the Mashpee Indians exemplifies the truth of this statement as well as its challenge.

Chairman Wendsler Nosie of the San Carlos Apache Tribe wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to honor tribal religious cultural rights in Nantucket Sound, explaining that the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts are no different from native people across America who hope to forge ahead with President Obama, away from the broken promises of American history. Chairman Nosie compared wind turbines to mining, asking what more will America demand of her land and of her native people who still must fight for respect, and for freedom of religion and justice?

Tribal religious cultural rights became a matter of national concern because the United States neglected to perform its legal duty to the Aquinnah and Mashpee tribes in the review of Cape Wind, and because Massachusetts chose to adopt a hard line against tribal concerns and against the concerns of others who care deeply about Nantucket Sound. Whatever the reason, Cape Wind is now symbolic of more than just energy independence and sustainability.

Hallett summed it all up 180 years ago in his argument in favor of tribal rights: "They now ask for redress... . It is not therefore, a light question, but one deeply affecting the character of this (nation). It is the last opportunity offered to us to expiate by kindness and magnanimous justice, the many, many wrongs which history will place to the account of the white man, in his relations with the Indian."

Fain P. Gildea, a lawyer in Mashpee, has practiced federal Indian law, with a particular emphasis on the protection of tribal religious, cultural and natural resources.


Source: http://www.capecodonline.co...

FEB 15 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24660-patrick-presses-obama-to-break-a-promise
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