The United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has chosen the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to host a meeting on proposed tribal federal recognition reforms.
The public meeting will be held at the tribe’s new community and government center on Great Neck Road South on Tuesday, July 29, from 8 AM to noon. A meeting open only to representatives of federally recognized tribes will be held on the same day from 1 PM to 4:30 PM.
Representatives from tribes around the country are expected to travel to Mashpee to participate in this government-to-government consultation and meeting.
According to a news release issued by the BIA, the current process for tribal recognition has been criticized as being too time-consuming, costly, sometimes arbitrary and generally “broken.” The proposed recognition reforms would streamline the petitioning process and standards to facilitate timely issuance of proposed findings and final determinations.
President Barack H. Obama is a supporter of reforming the federal acknowledgment process.
In 2007, after a three-decade battle, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe won federal recognition as a sovereign Native American nation.
“We are both pleased and honored to host the BIA and tribes from around the country to discuss President Obama’s plans for reforming the federal acknowledgment process. It is fitting that these talks take place in Mashpee since our tribe has experienced, firsthand, the flaws in the federal recognition process. We look forward welcoming everyone to Mashpee and to a very spirited discussion,” said Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council.