Tribe leaders discuss historic federal land decision

By The Associated Press

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) _ The Mashpee Wampanoag are discussing the federal government’s decision that they hope will pave the way for a tribe-owned casino in Massachusetts.

Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell will lead a Saturday afternoon news conference at the Mashpee Wampanoag Government Center in Mashpee starting at 1 p.m.

The Cape Cod-based tribe was notified late Friday that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had approved their application for the federal government to hold over 300 acres in Taunton and Mashpee in trust for the tribe.

The tribe says it’s a crucial hurdle toward opening a casino on sovereign Indian land without state approval.

The Mashpee lands are for the tribe’s government administration while the Taunton land is for the resort casino complex.

The tribe originally applied for land in trust status in 2007.

(c) The Associated Press / WLNE-TV 2015