It has been a while since our Prayer Protests on May 3 where everyone showed up and lit up! Thousands of supporters both Nationally and Internationally lit fires in protest of the Department of the Interiors attempt to “disestablish” our reservation lands. Thank you all for your spirit fires- because they certainly worked!
On June 5th Judge Paul L. Friedman ruled the “Secretary of the Interior’s September 7, 2018 Record of Decision is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law, the Court remands the matter to the Secretary of the Interior for a thorough reconsideration and re-evaluation of the evidence.” Thank you to Judge Friedman and others in positions of power that are willfully chipping away at the institutional racism within the judicial system.
But there is still more work for us to do....
On August 1st, the Department of the Interior announced they are APPEALING the decision! All over 321 measly acres.
The Department of Indian Affairs has proven time and time again to be a major disappointment to tribes all across the nation. When in fact, their very mission is to “enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives”.
It is time to take matters into the hands of the people! We have been fighting to protect and preserve our homelands for over 400 years now and are joining our Land Defenders across the country in the #LandBack movement on the west coast and ask that you support our efforts here on the east coast to stand against white supremacy, patriarchy, greed and racism.
Today, on Indigenous Peoples Day we are asking you to #StandwithMashpee and help us get our #LandBack by doing the following 4 actions:
1. Write a letter to your state or local municipality asking them to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
2. Watch the Indigenous Peoples Day celebration hosted by Vice President Biden and Senator Harris today at 2pm EST https://www.mobilize.us/joebiden/event/342482/
3. Send the updated letter below to your senator urging them to Reaffirm the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation and restructure the Bureau of Indian Affairs!
4. Support the #LandBack movement and go to this website https://landback.org
With love and gratitude,
*UPDATED Letter to your Senators
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT! Please email, send a letter or call your Senators office and express your dissatisfaction with their treatment of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Click on the link below for the United States Senate Directory, find your Senator and click on their contact link. It is easiest to cut and paste the below letter and send an email. Whichever option you choose, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
Click here to find your Senators Contact information:
The Honorable ___________________
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
I am writing to express my deep disappointment with the latest decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to APPEAL US District Judge Paul Friedman's decision that was in favor of the Tribe to re-establish reservation lands. As your constituent, I am urging you to support the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and vote in favor of H.R. 312 Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act in the utmost timely manner.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is located on Cape Cod Massachusetts and has roughly 2,800 tribal citizens- many of whom fall below the national and state low-income levels. Their reservation land is a critical component to continue to qualify for federal and state funding; to continue to build homes for elders, operate their language school, food pantry, emergency response departments and most importantly keep the doors open to their community and government center.
The very mission of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is to "enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunity and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives", yet the Secretary of the BIA continues to betray the Wampanoag people. We think it is time to RESTRUCTURE the Bureau of Indian Affairs!
This was a heartless decision made in the midst of a global pandemic without the consideration of its impact on the future of the Mashpee Wampanoag families and children. As my Senator, it is your responsibility to ensure the Federal Government is complying with their Trust Responsibility to ALL Native American Tribes and that ALL TRIBES ARE TREATED EQUALLY AND FAIRLY.