Land trust case raises red flags across Indian Country

By Philip Marcelo And Felicia Fonseca, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MASHPEE, Mass.- A modest courthouse and a fledgling police force, a housing development for American Indian families and a school where students are taught exclusively in the tribe’s ancestral language. These are the visible signs of an independent tribal nation that has grown on the famous vacation getaway of Cape Cod in recent years. But the future of those and other developments is uncertain as the Mashpee Wampanoag, the tribe whose ancestors broke bread with the Pilgrims nearly four centuries ago, awaits a decision from the Interior Department on whether it can continue to govern a slice of its historic lands. The U.S. Department of Interior is reconsidering its 2015 decision to place some 300 acres into trust for the tribe….

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