Taunton Announcement

Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),

 I write to you with exciting news about the economic future of our Tribe. At our February General Meeting, I announced our intention to pursue land in Taunton for a destination resort casino. I am proud to tell you today that we have entered into an option to purchase land along Route 24, and we will be publicly announcing our plans with the City of Taunton this week.

 This new partnership with the City of Taunton is a tangible step toward our goal of economic self-sufficiency through the development of a destination resort casino. Our integrated destination resort concept will include a casino, hotels, fine and casual dining, entertainment space, spa, and waterpark. 

 I hope that you will join me at the March General Meeting on March 11th at 2:00 pm at Mashpee High School to learn more about this plan.

 There are many steps that must be taken to achieve our goal. These include a referendum vote in the City of Taunton so voters can have a say on the location of a destination resort in the city, negotiation of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the city, negotiation of a Compact with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and amending our Land-Into-Trust Application to include our new location in Taunton. In addition, we are continuing the process, with your input, of drafting and passing a new Gaming Ordinance. We have also hired a financial analyst to create a financial model to show what money the Tribe can expect to receive at different stages of the operation of this resort while paying down debt service and also determining when per capita distributions will become available.

 As you know, the Tribe has great needs in providing funding for housing, health care, education, cultural, natural resources, economic development, and other programs. Tribal Council must approve any revenues to be spent on these government functions. Per capita distribution plans must be approved by both the Tribal Council and the Department of Interior.

I look forward to speaking with you about our plans and receiving your thoughts and guidance as we move forward. Tribal Council and I will do our best to keep you updated every step of the way during this exciting and fast-moving process. As always, I appreciate your feedback and your support.

 Kutâputunumuw;

 Cedric Cromwell Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Chairman, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Congratulations on the 2012 Annual Budget

Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (MWT) accepted the 2012 Annual Budget with a vote of 109 to 59 at the General Membership Meeting on February 12th. Thank you Mashpee Wampanoag citizens, for accepting and approving the budget. The vote was certified by the MWT Election Committee and I thank them for an effective and efficient annual budget voting process. On Friday, February 17th, the Tribal Council also voted 8 to 2 to accept the MWT 2012 Annual Budget and I thank the Council for their dedication to the budget process. Again, congratulations to the entire Tribe!

I want to thank Tribal Members for your commitment and focus at the First Annual Budget meeting. This budget was the very first of its kind in the history of our Tribe. You made history and progress toward the continued development of our Tribal Nation. The Tribal attendance and participation was phenomenal and I appreciate your continued support in advancing the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation toward the best-in-service delivery for all Tribal citizens. I also appreciate your patience as you waited in the long lines to vote. We will work to smooth out the rough places so that in the future the process will run without these difficulties.

The Annual Budget includes funding to support Housing, Healthcare, Human Services, ICWA, Natural Resources, Buildings & Grounds, Youth & Elder Services, Cultural & Historic Preservation, Education, a new Community Center Government Building and economic development through a destination resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

The Department Directors, Office Manager, Finance Director and Treasurer presented the comprehensive budget to explain their funding needs and mission to advance the Tribe and deliver services to you. Thank you to all of the department directors for your focus, professionalism, diligence and dedication towards making the budget a success.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Finance Department has delivered a best-in-class financial system, processes and procedures to manage Tribal operations, federal and state grant funding, loans, and donations. Our finance department has successfully completed audits over the past three years under this administration and we will provide continuous improvement. Again, I commend the leadership of Treasurer Mark Harding, Comptroller Milton Pratt, Finance Department Staff Denise Hathaway, Thomas Doherty, Nancy Joseph, Councilwoman Trish Keliinui, and Finance Department Director Marjorie Seagraves.

Continuing our commitment to excellent financial management, finance report tracking, projected spending vs. actual spending will be delivered to the Tribal Council and Tribal Citizens to give you a clear picture on how funds are being spent and managed. I will also ask interim Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs to work with department directors to implement comprehensive reporting on the Tribal operations work and service delivery that is taking place for you. I will continue to give you updates on our destination resort casino efforts and on the new MWT Community Center Government Building.

Our Tribe has an incredibly bright future. We are delivering the most programs and direct services to our citizens in the history of our Tribe. This includes our new healthcare clinic and support services, the most employment in Tribal Operations, first class financial management, new MWT Community Government Center coming soon, a positive public image, a dedication to professionalism and good government, and continued progress toward our destination resort casino economic development plans.

We have Wuneeshkeety “Good Medicine”!

Kutâputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

The Dawes Act Started the US Land-Grab of Indian Territory

Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),

Please read this important article from Indian Country Today about the Dawes Act, and how allotment policy, which was used nationwide to strip Native people of their land, had its start right here in Massachusetts when it was used to strip the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of what land we had left.

Today, it is important to support a clean Carcieri fix to clear up any confusion that may delay the restoration of our homeland.

Click here to read: The Dawes Act Started the US Land-Grab of Indian Territory

Kutâputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell

Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Tribal Budget Passes

Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),

I am proud to announce that the 2012 Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Annual Budget was accepted today at the Tribe’s General Membership meeting.

Thank you to all who attended the meeting and voted, and thank you once again to Treasurer Mark Harding, Marjorie Seagraves, Leon Jacobs, the Finance Department, Department Directors and all others who worked so diligently to make this possible.

Kutâputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

2012 Annual Budget

Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),

Our Finance Department and Tribal Council look forward to presenting an annual budget to you at the February 12, 2012, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe General Membership meeting. This will be an excellent, positive opportunity for you to hear, understand, and ask questions regarding the implementation of the annual tribal budget, which is the first of its kind. The positive energy to provide an annual budget to the tribal membership was all due to many hours, days, nights, and weeks of focused expertise to deliver and make it a reality for you, our Tribal Nation! In addition, you will have an opportunity to vote to accept the annual budget as a whole.

Coming from a structured management and financial systems environment, I know how important it is to have a best-in-class finance department to serve our Tribe. I commend Treasurer Mark Harding for his leadership in ensuring our finance department supported the vision and mission of excellence and for making sure our comprehensive annual budget became a reality.

I want to give a very warm thank you to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Finance Department under the leadership of Finance Director Marjorie Seagraves, and recognize Marjorie for her excellent work ethic, professionalism, and for Marjorie’s outstanding finance management expertise. The Finance Department has worked tirelessly to implement the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s first financial management system, Sage, which is responsible for managing all of the Tribal Department grants, funding awards and appropriations, spending, payroll, revenue from investor loan allocations, checks and balances. This has helped us provide and perform a good track record of annual audits that our Tribal government has successfully passed over the last three years.

The Tribal Council, under Treasurer Mark Harding’s leadership and recommendation, hired Milton Pratt as the Comptroller working in the Tribe’s finance department. Marjorie weighed in positively on hiring Milton. Milton is now providing consulting services and oversight to the Tribal Finance department. Marjorie and Milton work closely together to provide the best financial capability, reporting, management and excellence to ensure that we can measure and manage our financial intake and spend allocation projections vs. financial actuals. The Tribal Finance department is a well-functioning, efficient department based on all standard workflow management and procedures put in place that never existed before in the history of our Tribal government. In fact, this was a huge, very important task to implement over the past three years and the team got it done! I also want to thank and recognize the Finance Department employees Nancy Joseph, Trish Keliinui, Denise Hathaway, and Thomas Doherty for the focus and commitment towards advancing the Tribal Finance Department. Thank you again! Job well done!

The Tribal Finance department can now effectively and efficiently manage all of our Tribal department grant management, grant cycles, grant spending and investor dollars to provide the best in service delivery to you, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal membership and Tribal Operations workplace.

Our Interim Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs worked with Marjorie and Milton in a series of Department/Director finance meetings to focus the Tribal department management team on creating their department budgets for fiscal year 2012. The management team provided many hours of diligent work on understanding department budget needs, creating department budgets, and submitting the budgets to Leon, Marjorie, and Milton. The Tribal department budget submissions from all of the department directors were put together to create an annual Tribal Operations budget. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Department budgets factor their grant money allocation towards goals and objectives for growth and best in-class Tribal membership service delivery for Housing, Education, Health, Development, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation, Indian Child Welfare Act, Elder and Youth services. I am proud to tell you that this budget will provide for better program service delivery increases to our tribal membership.

The budget process has been thorough, responsible, and inclusive. In addition to regular Tribal Council budget meetings, Tribal Council recently held two full-day review sessions, along with Directors from each Department giving their input, to go through the entire budget with a fine tooth comb, ensuring a detailed review of the finance plan on your behalf.

In addition, the budget is being printed and will be mailed to you separately for your review. It is also available to review in the Executive Trailer at Tribal headquarters. Please contact Treasurer Mark Harding to schedule an appointment at 508.477.0208 or mharding@mwtribe.com.

I am very proud of the measures that have been put in place to ensure best-in-class financial operations for our Tribe, and I am proud of the budget that has been produced for the fiscal year. I look forward to sharing information with you over the coming weeks about all the important programs and services that we will be maintaining and expanding as a result of this budget’s funding creation and implementation.

Please join me in congratulating our finance team, Tribal Council, and Department Heads on a job well done, and encourage continued cooperation and quality performance as we move forward together in providing the very best to the Mashpee Wampanoag people!

Kutâputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)