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Lawsuit Filed to Unseat Longtime Leader of Narragansett Tribe

A federal lawsuit was filed Friday, November 18, 2016 by a group of Narragansett Indians to uphold an October impeachment of Mathew Thomas as chief.
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A federal lawsuit was filed Friday, November 18, 2016 by a group of Narragansett Indians to uphold an October impeachment of Mathew Thomas as chief of the tribe according to WPRI.com. Thomas has been chief for two decades. A new tribal council that was elected on July 30, 2016 voted for the impeachment on October 1, citing a number of claims – one of which is that Thomas is a current resident of Florida. One of the tribal rules requires tribal chief to be a resident of Rhode Island or within a 50-mile radius. John Brown, a Narragansett medicine man, said the July election was not legal and therefore the impeachment should not be authorized. Another claim by the suit is that Thomas created a tribal government that is illegally using tribal funds according to WPRI.