Dear Tribal Community,
With so much happening with our plans to build a destination resort casino in Taunton, I wanted to take a moment to update you on our progress. This is an incredibly exciting for our Tribe, and I am so proud to be working, along with many others, on this important component of our Tribe’s future. Our destination resort casino will bring jobs and economic development to our Tribe, our neighbors, the City of Taunton, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This will truly put us on a path to the economic self-sufficiency that has been a goal for so long.
First, a word about Taunton. Since we announced our intention to pursue this project in Taunton, it has been a pleasure to work with the residents and the government officials in the Silver City. Mayor Hoye, the Municipal Council, City Solicitor Jason Buffington, and the Taunton-area legislative delegation have been respectful, cooperative and have represented their city well. From the negotiation and overwhelming passage of the Intergovernmental Agreement, to the strong show of support at the city-wide referendum on June 9th, there is no doubt that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the City of Taunton have a great working relationship and the shared goals of economic development and job creation.
In addition, we submitted an amended application for Land in Trust, which includes our land in Mashpee as well as the land under agreement in Taunton. This application is progressing and is currently under review at the Department of Interior.
I want to once again thank the Mayor, his staff, the Municipal Council, the Tribal Council, volunteers and staff of the Together for Taunton campaign, Tribal members who spoke with residents of Taunton about our plans, and of course, the residents of Taunton for welcoming us with open arms.
Since that great day on June 9th, the momentum hasn’t slowed. We negotiated a groundbreaking Tribal-State Compact with Governor Deval Patrick that was approved by the Massachusetts legislature. This Compact is the result of serious but cooperative negotiation between the Governor’s team and our team, including the special efforts of Vice-Chairman Aaron Tobey. This Compact is a good deal for both our Tribe and the Commonwealth and puts us once step closer to economic self-sufficiency.
Following the signing of the Tribal-State Compact, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Gaming Authority made the first payment to the City of Taunton in the amount of $1.5 million. This payment was negotiated as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement, and shows our commitment to the City and the progress we are making in bringing our destination resort casino to the City of Taunton.
These developments are all very exciting, and we are moving quickly, so I want to make sure that I continue to communicate our progress with all the citizens of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Together we have come so far, and working together, we will reach our goal of developing and operating a first class destination resort casino in Taunton.
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)