Town Meeting Tonight

Dear Tribal Community,

The Town of Mashpee will conduct its Annual Town Meeting beginning tonight at 7:00 pm at Mashpee High School. While these town meetings are always important because many decisions are made that affect our Tribe and residents of the town, tonight there is an issue of particular importance.

Last year, an attempt was made to sell off a number of town-owned lots that were taken for back taxes. This year, Article 21 asks Town Meeting to approve a measure to put these lots into the care and custody of the Conservation Commission for preservation, thereby removing the threat that they will be sold for development. The lots are all over town from Lovell’s Lane, to Meetinghouse Road, to Shoe String Bay to South Mashpee. We need to drive the message home that any lots now owned by the town should not be sold for any reason.

We as citizens of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe know all too well what happens when land is taken for back taxes and sold off for development. I urge you and your family to attend Town Meeting tonight, listen respectfully to all arguments, and make your own voice heard. I think you will agree that Article 21, which protects the land from sale and development, is a good decision for the Town of Mashpee and its citizens as well as the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and our citizens.

Kutaputunumuw,
Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Temporary Job Opportunity: Quahog Relay

Dear Tribal Community,

The Town of Barnstable will be conducting the Centerville River Contaminated Quahog Relay this year.

Please see the attached notice here for dates and times.

For those not familiar with the project, the town is contracting people to harvest contaminated quahogs out of designated portions of the Centerville River and East Bay. You will be required to fill out a contract and w-9 for payment. Contractors will be paid $40 per full orange tote basket as determined by Natural Resources staff. The town provides a boat ride from the Dowse’s Beach parking lot to the digging area. All digging must be done under the supervision of Natural Resources staff, and all harvested quahogs turned over. Payments are processed at the end of the relay (Mid to late June). You must provide your own shellfish rake and waders. The town will have available tote baskets and a limited number of floats.

Please email or call Yvonne Tobey @ 508-477-0208 or Marcus Hendricks @ 774-527-8489 with any questions.

Kutaputunumuw,
Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Update – Project First Light

Dear Tribal Community,

The Gaming Commission’s decision on Thursday to open the Southeastern Massachusetts region to commercial bids paves the way for the possibility of a fourth casino in the state and two in Southeastern Massachusetts. This not only ignores our federal rights and the progress we have made, but also undermines the Governor and legislature and jeopardizes projects in every region.

We will not be deterred from building our destination resort casino in Taunton, and if the Gaming Commission licenses a commercial casino in the region, we will operate our facility without paying any revenue to the state.

Over the last 400 years, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has experienced a long succession of broken promises by the government. We believe, however, that we have found trusted partners in Governor Patrick and the legislature, as shown in their decision to work with us to ensure hundreds of millions of dollars for Massachusetts while respecting our rights as a federally recognized tribe. Despite the Commission’s misguided decision, we will continue to move forward in partnership with the Governor and the legislature to build our destination resort casino in Taunton.

Our Tribal-State Compact is now before the Massachusetts legislature for their review. Upon its approval, the Compact will then be sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for approval, a process that takes up to 45 days.

We have not wavered from our focus of preparing to build our destination resort casino in Taunton. With the support of one of the most successful gaming companies in the world, we are continuing the planning and design process toward building a first class facility.

And, most importantly, our application for land in trust continues to progress rapidly through the review process. As soon as our land is placed in trust, we are prepared to break ground, creating thousands of good jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits for our Tribe, the City of Taunton, and our neighbors.

We will redouble our efforts to ensure legislative support and timely action by the BIA.

I look forward to discussing these issues and our plans to move forward and be successful with Tribal Council and with Tribal citizens. I have scheduled a Special Tribal Council meeting on Wednesday April 24th, 2013 to discuss these issues and our plans to move forward and be successful with Tribal Council and with Tribal citizens.

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Our Heartfelt Sympathies

Dear Tribal Community,

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe extends its heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by yesterday’s senseless act of violence at the Boston Marathon.

At this time of great sadness and confusion, our kids may naturally have questions. It is often difficult to know how to comfort them, make them feel safe, and answer their questions honestly but with an appropriate level of detail.

Please click here to see advice from the National Association of School Psychologists on how to talk to children about violence.

May the Creator offer comfort to all those who are suffering. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe stands with you.

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

The Word is Getting Out!

Dear Tribal Community,

The word is getting out – the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s plan to open the Southeastern Massachusetts Region is a bad deal for Massachusetts and is unfair to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Watch an editorial from Fox 25 here.

You have an opportunity to make your voice heard. Tell the Gaming Commission that they should not open Region C to commercial bid.  

Send an email today to mgccomments@state.ma.us with “Region C” in the subject line. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, April 16, at 5:00 pm.

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Watch this video – we need your help!

Dear Tribal Community,

Make your Voice Heard!

Next Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is planning to open the Southeastern Massachusetts Region to commercial casino bids.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Gaming Authority has released a video to let the public know about what the Gaming Commission is planning to do and why it is a bad idea for Massachusetts.

View the video here.

We need to tell the Gaming Commission that they should stop rushing to disadvantage the Tribe.

Here’s why:

  • The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s land in trust application is on track and we are further along than any other developer in the state.
  • The commission is making a decision that would bring 4 casinos to Massachusetts instead of 3, including 2 in Southeastern Massachusetts. If this is the case, the Tribe will not pay any revenue to the state, and will destroy the economic model that the state is depending on to create jobs and increase revenue.
  • Consultants to the Governor and Legislature say the impact of 4 casinos is a “disaster” for Massachusetts.   
  • The Gaming Commission shouldn’t be rushing into a decision. The Tribe and the Governor have negotiated a new Compact that is fair to Massachusetts and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The legislature and the BIA should have the opportunity to review it without interference.

What can you do?

Send an email today to mgccomments@state.ma.us with “Region C” in the subject line. Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, April 16, at 5:00 pm.

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Health Service Unit Notice

Dear Tribal Community,

Please see a notice below from the Mashpee Wampanoag Health Service Unit.

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

IMPORTANT!

Mashpee Wampanoag Health Service Unit

  • Since March 15 2013 the clinic has continued to receive numerous phone calls for payments of prescriptions and referrals. This communication is to remind Tribal members that payment will not be authorized for referrals and prescriptions that come from outside providers.
  • If the prescription or referral is written by one of our providers who at this time are Dr. Sandra Bender M.D., Alexandra Armitage NP, Pumukqien Collins LMHC, Magdalena Castaneda LMSW, and Dr. Benjamin Warren DMD, co-payments or payments from Contract Health will be paid if eligibility and funding permits.
  • If you would like to utilize contract health services from the Mashpee Wampanoag Health Service Unit… your primary care has to be received at the Mashpee Wampanoag Health Service Unit, otherwise co-pays and referrals will not be paid.
  • In order to become a new patient, please call the clinic @508-477-6967 and speak to clinic reception to schedule.
  • If you have a referral for glasses and have not picked them up yet, please call the clinic administration @ the above number and ask for June.
  • I will be available for questions and concerns on April 30 6-8 p.m. at the Clinic Administration building 483B Great Neck Rd South, Mashpee MA 02649.
  • If you cannot attend in person and have questions call # 877-972-1764… enter pass code 7693133 this line will be open and available for the first 100 callers.
  • This will be a public forum call so your questions will not be private. If you have a private question, please feel free to call the office: Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm @ 508-477-6967 and ask for me.

Thank-you,

Rita Gonsalves RN,

Health Systems Administrator

Mashpee Wampanoag Health Service Unit

FEMA Job Openings

Dear Tribal Community,

FEMA has announced that they will be accepting applications for the FEMA Reservist Program this week only. Please share this opportunity with anyone who you think might be interested in applying. Thanks to Vice-Chair Jessie little doe Baird and WIA Director Yvonne Tobey for helping to spread the word about these job openings:

Applications will be accepted for the FEMA Reservist Program starting on March 25, 2013. The application period will close at 11:59p.m. EDT on Friday, March 29, 2013. New reservists are being recruited for the following EHP positions:

Environmental Compliance Review Specialist
Environmental Floodplain Specialist
Environmental Specialist
Historic Preservation Specialist

Information on Reservists Hiring is available at the following link:http://www.fema.gov/reservist-program/reservist-program-vacancy-announcements

Kutaputunumuw,
Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Chairman and Governor Sign New Compact

Dear Tribal Community,

Governor Patrick and I have signed our new Compact, and it will now be sent to the Massachusetts Legislature for approval. Please see a joint press release form the Governor’s office and our Tribe below. This is an exciting day for our Tribe, and I thank you for your support and your confidence as we continue to move forward together!

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

GOVERNOR PATRICK AND CHAIRMAN CROMWELL SIGN GAMING COMPACT BETWEEN COMMONWEALTH AND MASHPEE WAMPANOAG TRIBE

BOSTON- Wednesday, March 20, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick and Chairman Cedric Cromwell today announced that a new gaming Compact between the Commonwealth and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been signed and will now be sent to the Legislature for approval. This Compact paves the way for a resort-style casino in Region C in the southeast of Massachusetts, created by the Expanded Gaming Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2011.

“We are pleased to see this next step in expanded gaming take place and I urge the legislature to ratify the agreement quickly,” said Governor Patrick. “A gaming facility will bring needed jobs and economic opportunity to the region. I look forward to our continued partnership with the Tribe as we go forward.”

“I would like to thank Governor Patrick for his strong and steadfast partnership in working with us to reach an agreement that we believe will be approved by the federal government,” Cedric Cromwell said. “Our project has continued to move at a very brisk pace during these negotiations. We look forward to breaking ground in the next year on a development that will bring thousands of jobs and significant economic benefits to our tribe, the people of Taunton and the entire southeastern Massachusetts region.”

The Expanded Gaming Act makes it clear that the tribal rights to gaming in the Southeastern portion of the state are a priority, and by continuing to move this process forward, the Patrick-Murray Administration can ensure that priority remains while bringing new jobs and opportunity to Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe negotiated the Compact over the course of several months. As a tribal government, the Tribe is not subject to the Expanded Gaming Act. In exchange for several concessions from the state, the Compact establishes guidelines for a potential tribal casino that are consistent with the policies and principles outlined in the Expanded Gaming Act.

The new Compact changes the revenue share formula, which will be set at 21 percent of tribe revenues to the Commonwealth and will continue to be the case for as long as the tribal facility is the only one operating in the Commonwealth. When a commercial facility opens in one of the other two gaming regions, the revenue share will fall to 17 percent. The Compact reduces the revenue share of the applicable rate by 2 percent if a slot parlor opens in the region.

In July 2012, Governor Patrick signed a Resolve with the Tribe, H.4261 “Resolve Relating To The Tribal-State Compact Between The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe And The Commonwealth Of Massachusetts.” Signing the Resolve was the final step in the process before the first Compact could be submitted to the United States Department of the Interior for final approval. The Department of Interior denied the first Compact.

The new Compact makes a number of other changes, mostly reflecting the relevant federal law, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which is the chief oversight mechanism for tribal gaming. The new Compact does not include previous provisions regarding the Tribe’s hunting and fishing or other land claims. The term of the Compact is 20 years.

The Administration has received technical assistance from U.S. Department of the Interior during this process.

The new Compact must be ratified by a simple majority of the Legislature. After ratification, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has 45 days to make its decision on the Compact.

In November 2011, Governor Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act, which authorized the creation of three resort-style gaming facilities in Massachusetts, along with one slot facility. The Act allows for the gaming facilities to be built in three regions, Western Massachusetts, Greater Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts. The Act directed the Governor to negotiate a compact with any eligible, federally-recognized sovereign Tribe for a facility in the Southeastern region.

###

New Compact Approved by Tribal Council

Dear Tribal Community,

Tribal Council has voted to approve a new Tribal State Compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is another step forward toward our goal of bringing jobs and economic development to our Tribe, Taunton and Southeastern Massachusetts.

Please look for more details from me tomorrow on the new Compact. We are moving forward together!

Kutaputunumuw,

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)