Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All the World's a Stage

In light of Monday's appearance of the Mashpee Wampanoag at the Middleboro Board of Selectmen's hearing, one of the first not to feature Glenn Marshall or a check-bearing tribe member in two years, one of my valued readers has expressed some concern.

Though I did attend the meeting, mostly for it's potential comedic value, there was, unfortunately, no room at the inn for Gladys and the other bloggers, and so we hung out in the corridor straining to listen.

I am, therefore, still waiting for some audio to fully comment.

To be honest, I'm mostly interested in what questions the Board posed to the Tribe, and what is says about them, because, not surprisingly, the answers from Mr. Cromwell even in the muffled distance sounded something like:

...it's coming... only a flesh wound... just a minor fix... times are tough... scale it back... sovereign nation... blah blah yada yada...

In the meantime, I'd like to point out that this meeting was just another in a long line of choreographed public relations appearances that occur only when absolutely necessary.

Let's see, first came Glenn Marshall, way back in May of '07, blustering about racists, posturing as a 'steward of the earth', and promising to cut checks for everything from reduced home values to lost restaurant patronage, when he graciously appeared at what he himself proclaimed to be a 'dog and pony show'.

Then, in September, came the Princess with the big check. At that appearance, Selectmen Adam Bond and Pat 'Tankman' Rogers beamed at Sean like a pair of giddy bachelorettes who'd just been deemed rose-worthy.

In April '08 Sean and his posse grudgingly showed up for the BIA hearing, gave a short speech and barely tolerated the rest of us for as long as they could before taking off for the break room.

Last summer some of them showed up for Marshmallowfest '08. I'm still not sure what that was supposed to be all about but let's face it - it was all about keeping up those casino appearances.

You didn't see the Tribe in New Bedford at the Standard Times debate last year, did you? Of course not. That wasn't an event crucial to maintaining appearances - and in fact may have very well lead to embarrassing and highly quotable slip ups - not unlike Sean's delightfully revealing radio broadcast last February which many of us so enjoyed.

Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing the Tribe at the Statehouse casino hearings, either.

See what I mean? Only when necessary.

As far as this "fix" Cedric seemed fixed on, take heart. According to the Enterprise:
Last Friday, Congressman Barney Frank told The Enterprise he does not expect Congress to overturn the Supreme Court decision. “It’s virtually a zero chance,” Frank said.
I realize that the 1,500 member Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the Middleboro Board of Selectmen, and an ever-dwindling cadre of flying monkeys are anxious to see their casino built, but let's face it, with the crises in the mortgage, banking and auto industries, harsh public reaction to stimulus bailouts, a recession, an on-going two-theater 'war on terror' and modern day pirates gunning for U.S. sailors - Congress and the President have their hands busy.

And remember, while a Congressman can sponsor some legislation to give the Mashpee a special dispensation, doing so would open up the entire IRA for revision. Now, try to imagine those Western gaming tribes covered by the 1934 provision and numbering in the hundreds of thousands, which receive millions upon millions in Federal benefits under the IRA.

If you wanted to keep those benefits, would you want the IRA tampered with?

Well, Gladys isn't sweating some imaginary "fix". Cedric is in denial. He wants to make sure Middleboro is also in denial, and that the public is sufficiently misinformed. Seems to me like Monday's meeting covered that as per the usual. Everything is staged.

By the way, have you noticed how pro-casino forces, whether Tribal or State or otherwise, need to keep the myth of inevitability alive? Their PR people will issue a statement or they'll gather together at some event to reaffirm gambling's unrelenting stranglehold on our lives. The press obediently covers it, predictably making sure to slap the requisite quote from Rich Young somewhere towards the bottom of the article where no one will read it, and soon people start to believe casinos or slots or land in trust or whatever are a done deal, orchestrated up on high by powers beyond their reach, and so, the message is clear, you may as well give up any hope of trying to stop it.

And that's if we're lucky. If the TV news covers it, our side won't get a quote in at all.

One is, wittingly or not, led to believe there isn't any real opposition to expanded gambling at all in this State.

And that's the casino investor food chain.

And yet, for some reason we all politely go along with it. Like bringing knives to a gun fight - as if to imply that we're up for the fight - but we wouldn't actually want to hurt anybody.

Well, leave it to our friends at Casino Free Philadelphia to find a way to fight politely.



It's time to take notes. See how the activists took a meeting, run by a corrupt, smug and snickering gaming board, and turned it into their event? From the bottom paragraph to the headline in a few simple steps...

There is important business at hand raising awareness around the state and around this nation as to the predatory nature of slot machines and expanded gambling. We've had two years of experience learning all about it. It's our responsibility to share that knowledge with others, and it's time we stopped letting ourselves be gaveled by our elected officials and nullified by the media.

We have always been right about the myth of inevitability. We were right about the environmental impact. We are still right about the addictive nature of slot machines, about predatory gambling, about the costs and impacts of casinos. About corruption, about crime, about quality of life and quality of lives lost.

So speak up.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
-Shakespeare

It's time that stage was ours.

26 comments:

Scott from Lakeville said...

I'm lucky enough to be able to watch the selectmen's meeting on cable. Both my wife and I watched the meeting. When watching Cedric speak she descibed it best, "That guy is great at saying nothing"

All I heard was economic this and phase that.

Middleboro Review said...

Gladys,

Regarding the local issues --

What I have discovered, subsequent to Middleboro's April election is people who have never offered an opinion are stepping forward to express their disappointment to me that Wayne Perkins was elected moderator even though the margin was small and that Greg Stevens was not elected.

The Selectman against whom Greg Stevens was running is Al Rullo who have shown every indication of being open minded, willing to listen to the opinions of others, an expressed willingness to provide transparency and more than willing to do his homework, qualities not previously present on the BOS.

Maybe Greg Stevens will consider running next year against Tankman, Pat Rogers, which seems an easy win!

To those who are disappointed that Wayne Perkins is moderator, I point out his extremely narrow margin for a habitual political hack that sends an audible message and the potential that if Mr. Perkins believes he can conduct Town Meetings as he did BOS meetings by ignoring voters standing at the microphone waiting for recognition, Town Moderator is subject to Recall. Wayne's days in elected office are over. Maybe Wayne will do us the favor of resigning before next April's election.

The incumbent members you might recall include the "Gavel Queen," Marsha Brunelle, now recognized in that capacity by the Boston Globe and "Mimi," addressed by the Tribe using that nickname. (Sure, Mimi! How many meetings with the Tribe?)

You might recall "Mimi's" indignation at having her ethics challenged because she received cheap gifts and a free meal. But then "Mimi" was also indignant at having her ethics challenged because she participated in discussions having to do with the Fire Dept. Note to public: "Mimi" is now stepping away from her BOS chair when Fire Dept. discussions are held by the BOS. It might be that all of the Ethics complaints finally had some impact on her conviction that she could do as she pleased, laws be damned! Nice lady and extremely talented who doesn't belong on the BOS and has consistently shown an unwillingness to inform herself or listen to others. Mrs. Duphily is a single issue candidate who never watched or attended a BOS meeting prior to being elected. Note to casino supporters: Thanks!

Gladys,

I haven't had an opportunity to blog and offer my comments about the poor showing at the BOS meeting, but the coziness afterwards is offensive.

If Middleboro had a competent IT Director, we might have expected online streaming or archiving of BOS meetings so the Board of now 3 Clowns could be viewed by all. The PTWS (Pathetic Town Web Site) defines not only the IT Director, but a previous BOS that has remained unwilling to change until condemned in the blogs (blogs that they don't read, btw). Aplogies, Gladys, for our primitive state, but as you are aware, the "Gavel Queen" doesn't want her email website to be public!

The times, they are a changin'.

Gladys Kravitz said...

MR, you have absolutely no need to apologize for Middleboro's primitive state. Though Bridgewater has maintained a kickass web site for many years, it's Board, as I have long maintained, is just 'Middleboro North'.

Seriously, two of our selectmen members are actually also town employees.

The candidates who'll probably win are 'nice guys' who do much for the town as far as volunteer service. And that's great - but as we can see from Mimi's example as selectperson, it doesn't help where it needs to.

On the bright side, we have two REALLY GREAT candidates running this year too.

On the realistic side, I betcha neither of 'em gets in.

Baby steps...

Middleboro Review said...

Gladys,

I have had an opportunity to drive through your town recently and must admit that I was at a loss for words to describe some of the campaign signs of several candidates that resemble billboards. One might believe that those candidates were pursuing high paying positions rather than....excuse me! Selectman?

An outsider, such as myself, might be inclined to be somewhat suspicious of personal obsession to that extent. Who is contributing to the cost of those signs? Why would someone be so vested on getting elected?

Town employees? Anyone file an Ethics complaint? That sure seems curious to me having watched Middleboro travel that route.

Gladys,

Sometimes change takes time.

There were many who wanted change
2 years ago in Middleboro. Didn't I explain then that it takes time?

Of course, the economy has aided in calling attention to the commitments many town clowns made believing it would never end. When it ended, the clowns are like the Emperor's New Clothes and can't find enough to blame.

Prop 2 1/2 provides essentially for a 2 1/2% increase annually.

Wayne Perkins single-handedly negotiated contracts that provided 36%-3%-3% pay increases and included other perks like extending the Quinn Bill to the Fire Dept, to assure his re-election. And those pay increases are before considering that town employees were only paying 10% of their health care premiums. Health care costs, as everyone knows have experience staggering increases.

The legacy of budget cuts Middleboro now confronts are greatly due to Wayne Perkins and a BOS that failed to live within its means, thanks so much!

Other town, such as yours that find themselves in comparable situations need to do some difficult research into those dull and boring figures and stop re-electing the same clowns.

Expecting different results by electing the same people seems like the definition of insanity to me.

Gladys Kravitz said...

MR, I think it's possible I invented the oversized sign in Bridgewater ;~)

Now, the corner up the street from me, and the bulk of downtown has become a political drive-in theatre.

But, it's not quest for power or symptom of ego, but born out of the strange habit people in my town have for voting for the folks with the most signs.

So I suppose it's more like... can you hear me now?

Jacquie said...

Gladys,

You nailed it (once again). I love the title of this post.
The meeting on Monday night really was all about "a Stage". Neither side has any power, call it a dog and pony show, a PR move, all fanfare for the sake of keeping the issue at the forefront.
But It's ALL OVER...and to deceptively mislead the town is so wrong. However, I also blame the residents now for allowing themselves to be mislead. There is no reason to not know what is really going on by now (and that goes for the BOS as well)
Can we all say DENIAL.

I love the video from CasinoFreePhila. You are so right when you say it's time to learn from them.
They're effective, yet stay in control. I love it.
Great post Gladys!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Thanks Jacquie!

We've both been in this 2 years now - we know the drill. And yet we've recently watched some great folks in Middleboro question the Board there on alleged improprieties.

It's time to take that energy and momentum and courage to the next level.

The original tea in the harbor was all about demanding a voice. For two years the general public has rarely heard our voice, though it's been raised continually in blogs, editorials and action.

Keeping democracy real requires vigilance and participation - especially when casino investors creep in from the dark corners covered by the thin cloak of entertainment, revenue and jobs. If we don't it's just a corruption free-for-all.

Jacquie said...

Gladys,

Absolutely.

I give so much credit to those individuals that go to the BOS meetings every week and question. They're respectful (despite being told they sit in cheap seats) and ask well informed questions that deserve a well thought out response.

With McKinnon on the Board...I'm sure they'll start to get that.

Smoking Owl said...

Gladys,
That video reminds me of the suggestion I made, either on your blog or Bumpkin's, back when Mr. Frawley asked a question of the BOS and was shut down without an answer.
At the time, I suggested if Mr. Frawley returned the following week to ask his question again and was dismissed by the BOS, another town resident should go to the mic and ask the same question, and if that person was shut down, more residents proceed to the mic to ask the question until it was answered.
Nice to see the folks in Philadelphia used my idea. Do you think they're reading the CFO blogs?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Smoking Owl,

If the Philadelphians don't read the blogs, they should. They did see the bulk of my videos at the Stop Predatory Gambling conference last November and were quite impressed. (They especially enjoyed Dogstock.)

We could benefit from doing more direct action - like they do.

Of course, as you know, it's one thing to make a suggestion, and quite another to stand up, in a crowded room, while being filmed, and tell a board of elected or appointed jackasses who'd just as soon see you tazed or the victim of a 900 post rant on Topix, that they have SCREWED UP big time and you for one arent' going to take it anymore.

There are those who blog. Others write editorials. Some educate. Some hold signs. Some question Boards of Selectmen and gaming boards. The important thing is - they're doing something.

Keep it up!

carverchick said...

Great blog Gladys! The meeting was, if anything, entertaining. Cedric Cromwell is a smooth talker. I am puzzled by many of his false and misleading comments and they leave me wondering if he is trying to bamboozle us (good luck with that)or if he just does not understand that it is game over. He insists that the Tribe was unofficially under federal jurisdiction in 1934 which is just plain wrong or a big fat lie. My suggestion to Cedric Cromwell would be to read his own Tribe's Federal Recognition...maybe then he would stop thinking/believing/lying that the Tribe is not affected by the SCOTUS decision.

sigh....

on a brighter note, kudos to selectman McKinnon for asking the Tribe if they had a treaty with the Feds...to which poor flustered Cedric had to admit "no". Finally, someone on the Middleboro BoS who actually gets it!

The casinofreephiladelphia video is inspirational, and shows what a small group of people can accomplish even when all the cards are stacked against them!

Anonymous said...

Smoking Owl,

Some of us might have loved to disrupt the stupid BO3C (Board of 3 Clowns) Love Fest as you sugest, but some worked to put new candidates in ofice.

Many of us invested a lot of time to get Steve "Cheap Shots" Spetero off that BO4C. (The BO3C apointed him to the charter comitee -- should keep him buzy with buds Lincoln and Neil!)

Many of us worked hard to keep Wayne Perkins out as Town Moderator. Some might believe we failed, but the narrow margin sent a loud and clear message to Waynsie. Political Hack that never campagned before because he rewarded union employes to buy their loyalty at your expense, Waynsie has heard it!


Get it, Guys? They did!

Some of us invested time sending letters of protest to the BIA, DOI, Justice, AG, to investigate the shenanagans in Mboro after the Rapist's Plea Bargain or after Carcieri v Salezar.

We can always say 'we should have...', next year Pat Roger will be off the BO3C.

If she has any cents minni me will join him by resigning to put us out of her misery.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the BOS didn't request a written opinion from Wittlesley about the SCOTUS decision? His opinions were quoted elsewhere and we already paid him $200,000. Does the BOS know about the decision?

Jacquie said...

I sent the BOS a letter specifically asking them to please comment on the SCOTUS decision.
Apparently, Marsha acknowledged the letter at one of the meetings but I'm not sure what her reply was.

Nocasino said...

Mr Cromwell is keeps saying that the BIA is telling them to keep going on the application of the land into trust. Does anyone know if this is true? Not that I don't trust a tribal council that in the past has bought congressmen and taken advantage of a group of small town politicians.

If the secreatary of interior has informed them that the land cannot be taken into trust (which I believe they should have since the Supreme Court has ruled that they can't)then the clock started on 2/24/09.

Under section 24 of the IGA on page 18, L. Effective Date and Term. - "This agreement shall become effective upon its execution by the Parties hereto and shall continue induring the period of time that business operations related to the Project are conducted at the Project Site, PROVIDED,that if Tribe is informed by the secreatary of interior the the United States will not take the land into trust for the purposes of allowing the tribe to conduct gaming activities thereon then this Agreement shall terminate 30 days after all appeals related to such a decision have been exhausted.

Has the tribe filed an appeal? I mean officially, not talking to a few dirty congressmen about who can be bought.

Were they notified by the Secretary of the interior?

Anyone can stand and tell the BOS what they want to hear. We should have learned something from the infamous Glenn Marshall.

Get it in writing.

56 days and counting.


NO CASINO

Gladys Kravitz said...

I'm not sure if there has been an "official" appeal, though I'm certain there is active lobbying, hand wringing, check writing, lawyer consults, etc. going on behind the scenes.

I think this is a necessary stage with hearings, conversations etc going on while people figure out what to do next.

Everyone is very busy 'keeping up appearances'.

So what would be the purpose of the BIA or DOI telling the Tribe to pack it up during this time? The Department must certainly go through the motions of attempting to determine whether there is a way to "fix" Carcieri, after all.

From their perspective, it would be irresponsible at the moment, to tell some Tribes they can't have their casinos.

As months go by, I have confidence this perspective will change.

Anonymous said...

Jacquie,

I don't want you to think you were the only one because I delivered a copy of the SCOTUS to the BOS with glasses and requested an opinion.

Did you hear Marsha's response between tribal hugs and kisses?

BTW, Marsha is no longer chairman although she thinks she is. That arrogant attitude doesn't simply fade especially since she's sick and tired of this crap!

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
I read the local blogs and know you have taken a lot of criticism (that you probably don't read)about allowing anonymous posters.
I just felt that I should explain my position and criticize the critics.
Hal Brown has been widely posting that people shouldn't post anonymously and believes himself to be the Dear Abby of net etiquette.
I own a small business that is dependent on local patronage and am vehemently opposed to the casino.
Others have suffered from their outspoken opposition which is unjust and was greatly due to casino friends, Michael Quish and Adam Bond, orchestrated by others as well.
Mr. Brown posted a veiled attack on nemasket and when he received a response, he retreated to his pro-casino supporters for commiseration.
It is people like Mr. Brown who continue to fan the flames while pretending 'we should all get along.'
All supporters seem to have personal gain. Helen Belmont has land to sell. Bill Marzelli is up front about renting his property, which seems to be Mr. Spartero's motives. Probably even Mrs. Duphily's motives.
I also know people who could have profited from the casino and chose to oppose it because they knew it was wrong for the town.
Reading the SCOTUS decision, I reached the conclusion that it's over and there will be no casino in Mboro.
The BOS not requesting a written opinion from Wittlsy is baffling. To hug the Tribe and pretend this is going forward would be the next campaign ad for Mrs. Duphily and Mrs. Brunelle if they don't resign first.
Cromwell said 2011. They're up for reelection then and I saved a video for the ad.
Next year, Pat Rogers is up and he barely got elected last time.
I appreciate you being here and allowing anonymous coments otherwise there would be no way for me to condemn our town leadership.
There is something truly wrong with those we have allowed to grasp power.

carverchick said...

Nocasino,

The application is sitting and collecting dust at the moment. From what I understand, Amy Greene Engineering is working on some issues with the scoping document. There is no EIS or draft EIS...the BIA can't do anything with the application except give it to the Secretary of the Interior - and the Secretary can't do anything with it either. As Gladys says, everyone is waiting to see what will happen. I look at it this way....if the Tribe was so certain of a fix, they wouldn't be trying so hard to prove they were under unoffical federal jurisdiction in 1934....and if anyone would take the time to actually read the tribes FR, it is quite clear that they were NOT under any type of federal anything in 1934.

Congress can't just "fix" this ruling without messing with the IRA. Any attempt at fixing this could easily be ruled unconstitutional and it would affect many tribes already receiving benefits from being federally recognized. As far as Cedric saying there will be a fix by October or so....he can keep saying that, but it doesn't make it true. I highly doubt Congress will even look at fixing the decision this year and any attempt to change the SCOTUS ruling will be met with litigation. Think about it..for as many tribes that are lobbying to "fix" the decision, there are just as many lobbying not to "fix" it. Indian Country is as divided as the town of Middleboro.

In a nutshell, the Tribe is holding on to a pipedream.

Smoking Owl said...

Carverchick,
It never dawned on me before but you're absolutely right.

If the tribe believes they were under Federal jurisdiction in 1934, then actually, they wouldn't need a "fix" to the SCOTUS decision at all.

Someone should ask Cedric, if the tribe was under Federal jurisdiction in 1934, then why the 30+ years struggle to gain federal recognition which was only obtained after the crooked tribal chairman enlisted the aide of corrupt lobbyists and politicians with money provided by casino developers?

It seems to me that being under federal jurisdiction implies federal recognition.

The Cherokee people have their "Trail of Tears".
Cedric and the Mashpee seem to be creating a Trail of Lies.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Smoking Owl,

Actually Federal Recognition is a whole different animal. And in the case of some tribes, most notably 'modern' and eastern ones, it is the prize they win after jumping through a particular set of hoops, raising the necessary capital, and redefining themselves to fit into an official tribal mold, for the purpose of gaining the title of "sovereign" so that they can practice independent economic self-determination while receiving millions in Federal funds and other benefits.

The Mashpee Tribe really didn't meet the stringent definition of a Federally recognized tribe, but they didn't let that stop them.

carverchick said...

Smoking Owl and Gladys,

Touche...

Smoking Owl said...

I understand jurisdiction and recognition may be different animals.

But for a tribe to fall under federal jurisdiction, doesn't that imply the federal government recognizes the group as a tribe in the first place in order to come under the jurisdiction of the federal government?
If the federal government does not recognize a group as a tribe, then who are they putting under federal jurisdiction? Private citizens?

I guess its a matter of symantics.

Personally, I think Cedric has his facts wrong, or should I say he is not presenting the facts accurately.

Gladys Kravitz said...

SHORT ANSWER - NO.

LONG ANSWER - NO.

The Regulations: 25 C.F.R. Part 83

A. Development of the Regulations

Prior to 1978, federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes was accomplished by Congressional action, various forms of administrative decisions and the courts. It became clear, however, that a uniform process was necessary to address the several acknowledgment claimants whose characters and histories varied widely. The regulations were developed in response to the ad hoc, inconsistent and sometimes arbitrary determinations of tribal status.

Proposed recognition regulations were released on June 16, 1977. The BIA had "approximately 400 meetings, discussions and conversations about federal recognition with other federal agencies, state government officials, tribal groups, petitioners, congressional staff members, and legal representatives of petitioning groups."(4) The BIA also received over 60 comments on the proposed regulations, and 32 comments on the revised regulations which were issued a year later.(5) The final acknowledgment regulations, which were published in September 1978, represented a compromise of diverse interests committed to establishing an equitable process for determining whether a group warranted federal recognition as an Indian tribe.

The regulations established the first detailed, systematic process for reviewing petitions from groups seeking federal recognition. While some tribes still receive federal recognition or restoration of previous federal recognition from Congress, the courts have generally deferred to the Department of Interior for questions of tribal status.(6)

The regulations were revised in 1994 to clarify the criteria for acknowledgment and make more explicit the kinds of evidence which could be used to meet the criteria. Other changes were made to increase the speed at which petitions were processed. The 1994 regulations also gave a lesser burden to previously acknowledged tribes. The general standards for interpreting the evidence and the standard of continuity of tribal existence, however, remained unchanged.(7)

B. The Petition Process

1. Who can Petition and How Does the Process Start?

Under 25 C.F.R. Part 83, an Indian group that believes it should be acknowledged by the federal government as an Indian tribe and can satisfy the mandatory criteria for acknowledgment can submit a letter of intent to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs requesting such acknowledgment.(8) The group must also submit a documented petition containing detailed evidence in support of its request for acknowledgment and thorough explanations of how it meets all of the criteria for tribal existence.(9) The letter and the petition must be signed by the group's governing body.(10)

2. Who Cannot Petition?

Tribes, organized bands, pueblos, Alaska native villages, and communities which are already recognized as such and receive services from the BIA cannot be reviewed under the FAP process.(11) Neither can associations, organizations, corporations or groups of any character that have been formed in recent times (the fact that a group that meets the mandatory criteria under the regulations has recently incorporated or formalized its existing autonomous political process does not affect the Assistant Secretary's final decision on its petition).(12) Splinter groups, political factions or groups of any nature that separate from the main body of a currently recognized tribe cannot be acknowledged under the FAP process unless the group can establish that it has functioned throughout history until the present as an autonomous tribal entity.(13) Groups that are subject to federal legislation terminating or forbidding federal recognition as a tribe cannot be acknowledged under the FAP process.(14) Lastly, groups that have previously petitioned and were denied cannot petition.(15)

3. How Does the Assistant Secretary Process the Petition?

a. Notice and Interested/Informed Parties

The Assistant Secretary will acknowledge the receipt of the letter of intent of the documented petition (if a letter has not previously been received and noticed) and publish notice of such receipt in the Federal Register.(16) This notice serves to announce the opportunity for interested parties and informed parties to submit factual or legal arguments in support of or in opposition to the petitioner's request for acknowledgment and/or to request to be kept informed of general actions affecting the petition.(17) The Assistant Secretary will also notify the governor and the attorney general of the state in which a petitioner is located, and any recognized tribe and other petitioner which appears to have a historical or present relationship with the petitioner or may otherwise have a potential interest in the acknowledgment determination.(18)

Under the regulations, an "interested party" is any party that has a legal or property interest in the outcome of the acknowledgment determination. The governor and attorney general of the state in which a petitioner is located are automatically included in this category. It may also include, but is not limited to, local governmental units and any recognized Indian tribes and unrecognized groups that might be affected by an acknowledgment determination.(19)

An informed party is any person or organization, other than an interested party who requests an opportunity to submit comments or evidence or to be kept informed of general actions regarding a specific petitioner.(20)

b. Review of the Petition and Technical Assistance

The Assistant Secretary, through the BAR, then begins the review of the documented petition. He may consider any evidence submitted by interested parties and informed parties.(21) Prior to placing the petition on active consideration, however, the BAR conducts a technical assistance review of the petition to provide the petitioner with an opportunity to supplement or revise the petition.(22) The Assistant Secretary will notify the petitioner of any obvious deficiencies or significant omissions in the petition and will allow the petitioner to supply additional information or clarification on the petition.(23) Once the deficiencies have been addressed, the petition is then placed on active consideration.

c. Proposed Finding

After reviewing the materials submitted, the Assistant Secretary will publish a proposed finding on the petition in the Federal Register.(24) The petitioner or any individual or organization wishing to challenge or support the proposed finding has 180 days from this publication to submit arguments and evidence to the Assistant Secretary to rebut or support the proposed finding.(25) During this comment period, the petitioner or any interested party can request a formal technical assistance meeting to discuss the reasoning, analysis and factual bases for the proposed finding on the record. This is an opportunity primarily for third parties to have their questions and concerns be addressed by the BAR staff on the record.(26) The petitioner has sixty (60) days after the comment period ends to respond to the arguments and evidence that were submitted.(27) The Assistant Secretary will then consult with the petitioner and the interested parties to determine a schedule for consideration of the comments and responses.(28)

Sixty (60) days after the Assistant Secretary begins the review of these materials, he shall publish a final determination of the petitioner's status.(29) If the petitioner meets all of the criteria under 25 C.F.R. § 83.7, the Assistant Secretary must acknowledge it as an Indian tribe.(30) Upon publication of the Assistant Secretary's determination in the Federal Register, the petitioner or any interested party may file a request for reconsideration with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.(31)

C. The Criteria for Federal Acknowledgment (25 C.F.R. Part 83.7)



1. What the Petitioner Must Show

The Assistant Secretary must acknowledge the existence of the petitioner as an Indian tribe if it satisfies all of the following criteria:

a. The petitioner has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900. § 83.7(a).

b. A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times until the present. § 83.7(b).

c. The petitioner has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present. § 83.7( c).

d. It submits to the BAR a copy of the group's present governing document including its membership criteria. § 83.7(d).

e. The petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. § 83.7(e).

(The petitioner must provide an official membership list certified by the group's governing body. It must also submit a copy of each available former list of members based on the group's own criterion).

f. The membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian tribe. § 83.7(f).


(It can meet the criteria if: (1) the petitioner can establish that it has functioned throughout history until the present as a separately autonomous tribal entity; (2) that its members do not maintain a bilateral political relationship with the acknowledged tribe; and (3) that its members have provided written confirmation of their membership in the petitioning group).



g. Neither the petitioner nor its members are the subject of congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden the federal relationship. § 83.7(g).



A criterion is met if the available evidence establishes a reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts relating to that criterion.(32) Conclusive proof of the facts is not required. While the regulations list specific types of evidence that can be used to show that the petitioner has met the criterion, the specific forms of evidence are not mandatory requirements. The criteria may be met alternatively by any suitable evidence that demonstrates that the petitioner meets the requirements of the criteria.(33)

2. Lesser Burden For Those Previously Acknowledged (Part 83.8)

If a petitioner can provide substantial evidence of unambiguous previous federal acknowledgment, its evidentiary burden of meeting the mandatory criteria is lessened.(34)

Evidence to demonstrate a previously acknowledged group must show that it meets criterion 83.7(a) only since the point of last federal acknowledgment.

It must show that it meets the requirements of criterion 83.7(b) to demonstrate that it comprises a distinct community at present and that it meets the requirements of §83.7(c) to demonstrate that political influence is exercised within the group at present.

The petitioner must meet the rest of the criteria as set forth in part 83.7.(35)
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But have the Mashpee been under Federal Jurisdiction?

Please see Carverchick's blog post - Think Pink

bridgewater voter said...

Gladys,

You've posted so much about our quality of life being affected by a casino on Mboro, how about our town?

No one is presenting any substantial arguments about town employees being on the BOS.

Is there any local blog dealing with the business dealings of these candidates?

We just moved to Bridgewater recently and certainly never knew about the mess here or wouldn't have bought our house.

I love the community and our neighborhood. It just seems to be questionable that town employees can run for election.

How does anyone believe it makes sense to have town employees on the Board of Selectmen? One of them owns other businesses and deals with the other town departments. How is that sensible?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anon. 6:50,

Each candidate for selectman has a web site. The town web site has a page for the Town Study committee, which has done an incredible job researching and recommending what form of government would best suit a town of our size. There is a townie blog with links to all of the above, I believe, but of course, there are no dog videos.

Yet...

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