Peter d’Errico, a member of the Leverett (MA) Selectboard and a long time legal advocate for Native American rights, explains the latest federal affront to the sovereign rights of Native Nations.
In a September 2018 ruling, the Department of the Interior of the US Government claims the Native people who first welcomed the Pilgrims to the shores of Massachusetts in 1620 – the Mashpee Wampanoag – no longer have sovereign rights to even a tiny fraction of their former territory, their “reservation”.
The Mashpee Wampanoag currently occupy less than 1% of their original homeland in Massachusetts. That “land in trust” status has now been abrogated by the Trump Administration.
This ruling could affect the “land in trust” status of many Native Nations across the country. Which is why Native leaders joined the Mashpee Wampanoag to march on the U.S. Department of the Interior offices in Washington, D.C. on November 14th, 2018.
Spread the word to supporters of Native Rights in other states to tell their federal Congressional representatives to support the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation Reaffirmation Act – House Bill HR5244 and Senate Bill S2628 – NOW!
Stay tuned for more updates on the Campaign to Change the Massachusetts Flag and Seal, coming your way soon.