Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 20, 2020

Mashpee Wampanoag ask judge today to halt Trump's removal of land from trust

Mashpee Wampanoag ask a federal judge today to halt Trump's removal of land from trust

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
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Cedric Cromwell, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation, said Mashpee Wampanoag are asking a federal judge today to halt the Trump administration from removing its status as a Native Nation.

Chairman Cromwell said, "Our Tribe, the same tribe that is celebrated on Thanksgiving for our historic role in the founding of this country, filed a preliminary injunction/temporary restraining order against the Department of Interior to halt its efforts to disestablish our Tribe's reservation."

"Judge Friedman will hear oral argument today starting at 10 AM from the Tribe, Federal Defendants and Intervenors concerning the pending Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Summary Judgment. The Tribe continues to vigorously defend its reservation and welcome you, as Tribal citizens, to dial in to listen to this important hearing. The court has provided a dial-in number for a limited number of people to dial in by calling (877) 848-7030 and using code 8204797."

"I ask for your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and thank you for your continued support of our sacred land. Kutâputunumuw."

The Mashpee Nation said, "The hearing will be presided over by Judge Paul L. Friedman to determine whether the Department of the Interior was wrong in how it analyzed whether Mashpee was under 'federal jurisdiction in 1934.' The answer to this question will determine whether the Tribe who met the Pilgrims in 1620, will keep or lose their sovereignty over the remaining 300 acres of their reservation trust land.

"We ask that you share your prayers, light a sacred fire, and ask that justice is delivered to the Mashpee people. We urge our supporters to contact their Senate legislators to support and pass HR312 the Mashpee Reservation Reaffirmation Act and HR375, the Carcieri Fix. to stop the injustices across Indian Country!"

Cape News reports members of Congress filed as friends of today's court arguments.

"On the eve of scheduled oral arguments, 25 members of Congress filed an amici curiae, or friends of the court, in support of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in federal civil litigation between the tribe and the Trump Administration’s Department of the Interior.

"An amici curiae brief brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties involved in litigation."

"The Executive Branch is unlawfully attempting to remove Plaintiff’s land from trust,” the counsel for the 23 members of the US House of Representatives and two US Senators said in an “amici curiae memorandum” on Tuesday, May 19.

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