Mashpee Wampanoags file petition to put land into trust

Boston, Massachusetts (AP) 9-07
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has taken another step on the road to building a casino in Massachusetts by filing a petition with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to put their land in trust.

The petition filed at the BIA’s eastern offices in Nashville, Tenn., by tribal council chairman Shawn Hendricks would place more than 500 acres of land in Middleborough and 140 acres in Mashpee into a trust.

The federal government will inform the state and local governments of the petition and allow a public comment period.

The tribe wants to build a $1 billion resort casino on the Middleborough land.

Putting the land in trust makes it tax exempt and makes it subject to federal laws.

It should take about 18 months before the petition is approved.