The Trump administration sparked outrage after revoking the reserve status of a Native American tribe that has lived on earth for 12,000 years.
In late March, the United States Department of the Interior ordered that the 321 acres of land of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe be ousted from federal trust and the reserve restored. Order stripped the tribe of the ability to rule on earth – an area in which they lived long before the United States of America was established.
The move sparked anger from Congress. On Friday, 18 house members sent a letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Charles Schumer asking to approve a couple of bills that reaffirm the tribe’s land, including HR 312, which would restore the state. of confidence in the reservation.
“It would simply guarantee that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is no longer vulnerable to having their land taken away from trust,” the letter said.
“And the tribe is treated in the same way along with other Native American tribes so that it can take care of its members and protect its heritage.”
Days after the order, the Interior Department and the tribe reached an agreement that the land will be subject to a 45-day preliminary injunction period before it is removed from trust.
If the order were valid, the tribe would lose its independent judicial system, its police force and its Wampanoag language school. It would also stop building tribal housing development, as well as a $ 1 billion casino resort that the tribe planned to build on the reservation.
In their letter, House members called the internal department’s order “highly questionable”, mainly because it is occurring amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The clock is now ticking. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with the United States struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19, it is highly questionable that the DOI take such action in the first place. ”
“The circumstances in which the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe now find themselves serve only as a reminder of the history of unfair treatment by the federal government … the current situation further demonstrates the systematic way in which the people of the Mashpee Wampanoag have suffered unnecessary cruelty and indescribable. ”