Dear Tribal Community,
As you know, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has reached a Compact or agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to develop and operate a destination resort casino in Taunton, Massachusetts. The Tribal Council voted 7-1 in favor of this Compact pending General Court approval and approval of the US Department of Interior.
The Compact is a monumental step for our Tribe’s economic development plan, and I would like to provide the opportunity for Tribal members to learn more about and fully discuss this agreement and our plans for the future of our Mashpee Wampanoag destination resort casino.
Please join us for a Special General Membership Meeting:
Saturday, July 28
1:00 – 7:00 pm
Mashpee High School Auditorium
The compact outlines the terms under which our Tribe will be able to operate our destination resort casino as well as providing for Commonwealth support for the federal land-into-trust process for the Taunton site.
This is another step in an economic development plan that will bring long-term prosperity to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe while also bringing much needed job opportunities and revenue to the Commonwealth.
Our destination resort casino will enable our Tribal government to move toward economic self-sufficiency and the ability to fully provide for the needs of our Tribe, including housing, health care, education, job training, cultural preservation, and conservation of natural resources. We are committed to running a successful, fiscally responsible operation for the benefit of the Mashpee Wampanoag people for generations to come.
We will fully discuss the entire Compact on July 28, which includes many important provisions. While the Commonwealth will receive an allocation of 21.5% of the future Tribal casino’s gross gaming revenues, this revenue sharing is based upon several meaningful concessions made by the Commonwealth, including:
• Granting exclusive casino gaming rights to the Tribe in Region C;
• Early and expedited negotiation of a Compact before the completion of the federal land in trust process;
• Advocacy for expedited Compact approval by the General Court;
• Advocacy for Compact approval by the Secretary of the Interior;
• Advocacy for expedited federal acceptance of land in trust for both gaming purposes on the approved site and for non-gaming governmental purposes in and around Mashpee;
• Attempting to resolve the Tribe’s public land claims in and around Mashpee; and
• Consideration of an agreement to facilitate the exercise of historic Tribal hunting and fishing rights.
I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to our Tribal members, especially our Elders, who have been instrumental in showing support and focus toward reaching our goals. Your perseverance and guidance has made all of this possible.
Over the last several months, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have negotiated in good faith with the goal of providing real economic benefit to all concerned.I want to thank the Governor and his team for their efforts, and I look forward to the continuation of this productive government to government relationship. I also want to thank the Vice Chairman Aaron Tobey, Tribal Council and our gaming project team for their diligence and tireless efforts as we negotiated this Compact.
I would also like to thank Mayor Tom Hoye and all the people of Taunton for their partnership. The Mashpee Wampanoag people have lived in Southeastern Massachusetts for over 12,000 years, we are deeply invested in this community, and we are so pleased to bring this enormous opportunity to the entire region.
We have met multiple other milestones in our pursuit of a destination resort casino, including an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Taunton, approval of the residents of Taunton in a popular referendum, approval of its gaming ordinance by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and progress on our land in trust application through EIS scoping meetings held by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We have many steps ahead of us in this process, but we are making great progress. Thank you for your continued support and I hope to see you on July 28th!
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)