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News Release

Office of Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07)

Today, President Donald Trump tweeted a call to House Republicans to vote against H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act. The bill would reaffirm the trust status of the Tribe’s land and protect the Tribe from further attacks on its land and sovereignty.

The Mashpee’s relationship with the Federal Government is one of the oldest in the United States, and their ancestors welcomed the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. Like many tribes, the Mashpee were intentionally and systemically stripped of their lands through various actions by the states and the federal government, and they have long fought to reestablish their tribe and ancestral lands.

Thanks to the Trump Administration’s successful efforts to strip the Mashpee of their tribal lands, the Tribe has been left in legal limbo and is being forced to borrow thousands of dollars every day just to keep its government running, resulting in devastating cuts to essential services and massive layoffs.

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H.R. 312, which is overwhelmingly supported by tribes and pan-tribal organizations across the country, would protect the Mashpee Tribe’s reservation lands and ensure the Tribe’s right to sovereignty and self-determination.

Representative Gallego issued the following statement:

“It is the height of hypocrisy to claim you are treating Native Americans equally while including a racial slur in your tweet.

“This Administration refused to defend the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s right to a homeland in Court. This Administration stripped a tribe of its sovereign right to land for the first time this century. Now the President is tweeting racist lies to further undermine the Mashpee Tribe’s effort to reclaim their homeland and right to self-determination. 

“With this tweet, President Trump is not only allowing special interest lobbyists like Matt Schlapp – who happens to be married to his staffer – to direct federal policy, but reinforcing the federal government’s ugly history of oppression towards Indian tribes. 

“The Mashpee Wampanoag and all of Indian Country deserve better than this racism, disrespect, and sabotage.”