Message from Chairman Cromwell – Our Aboriginal Rights Are Our Foundation and Birthright!

Wednesday ~ November 23, 2016

Dear Tribal Family,

From time immemorial, we, the Mashpee Wampanoag have been good stewards to the land and water and have always protected our aboriginal territory.  Given what we believe is a tense political climate, we are seeing an increase in hateful acts of prejudice and discrimination throughout our country. 

Unfortunately, our Tribe is not immune to such rhetoric and we have recently been notified of a threatening letter questioning the scope of our aboriginal rights to hunt and fish in our traditional homelands.  

As history has shown, the Tribe shall not cower to such thinly veiled threats and shall vigorously defend the legal rights of our Tribal citizens in the applicable court of law. 

Legal protections of aboriginal rights to hunt and fish are clear and well established under the law.  However, we remind you to please ensure that any applicable regulations (such as the use of F.I.D. cards), Tribal laws and criminal laws are observed and respected when you are pursuing these activities. 

We are now approaching a time of Thanks Giving and encourage our Tribal citizens to exercise their aboriginal rights to hunt and fish freely, peacefully and lawfully. 

Should any person or entity attempt to prevent you from exercising your lawful rights, please contact Tribal Police Chief, Kevin Frye, at (774) 238-8329 immediately for further assistance and avoid escalating any encounter.  The State Environmental Police, local law enforcement and our Tribal Police are apprised of the open threat to our citizens.

Our inherent rights to hunt and fish have existed for thousands of years and shall endure beyond politics, prejudice, persecution and malice. 

 Kutâputunumuw!

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