A tribe is losing reservation status for its more than 300 acres in Massachusetts, raising fears among Native American groups that other tribes could face the same fate under the Trump administration.
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which traces its ancestry to the Native Americans that shared a fall harvest meal with the Pilgrims in 1621, was notified late on Friday by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs that it will be rescinding its reservation designation and removing the land from federal trust, according to Cedric Cromwell, the tribe’s chairman.
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The US Department of the Interior, which oversees Native American affairs, is obligated by a recent federal court decision to remove the special land designations, which were bestowed in 2015 under then President Barack Obama, according to Conner Swanson, an agency spokesman.