Aquinnah Files Suit Against Tribal Move

The Aquinnah building inspector filed a lawsuit this week against
the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to test the question of
whether the tribe must follow local zoning rules.

"A genuine controversy exists on this issue requiring judicial
guidance," wrote Aquinnah town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport in the
complaint.

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Wampanoag Leadership Faces Election Test
Chris Burrell

After spending much of the last two years in political hot water over gun-toting rangers, sheds with no building permits and the stewardship of a beloved general store, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) now finds itself in a state of inner turmoil, its members at odds with each other.

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Wampanoag Tribe Sees Fresh Chance to Press for Gambling Casino
Chris Burrell

For the first time since the mid-nineties, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is looking at favorable odds in its bid to build a high-end casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

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Senior Wampanoag Officials Divide in Rising Dispute Over Tribal Finances
Chris Burrell

For months now, Wampanoag tribal chairwoman Beverly Wright has been telling her constituents and at least one federal agency that the tribe's finances are in terrible shape, riddled with debts from failed business ventures.

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Wampanoag Financial Crisis Forces Tribe to Sell Off Land and Stock Assets
Chris Burrell

A general store, a delicatessen and a shellfish hatchery -
they were all supposed to add up to profits for the only federally
recognized Indian tribe in the state, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
(Aquinnah).

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Tribe Plan for Police Force Triggers Mediation Talks
Chris Burrell

A federal mediator yesterday waded into the dispute between
officials in Aquinnah and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
over the tribe's plans to form its own police force.

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Superior Court Hears Key Case
Chris Burrell

The question of whether claims of sovereignty entitle the Wampanoag
Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to skirt local and state laws will be
decided in Dukes County superior court, rather than a federal district
court in Boston where lawyers for the tribe wanted the case tried.

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Wampanoag Tribal Sovereignty Case Raises Jurisdictional Questions in Federal Court
Joshua Sabatini

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock heard the case of
Aquinnah building inspector versus the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay
Head Wednesday and questioned whether the federal court has jurisdiction
over the civil action. The outcome of the case will determine whether
the town has zoning jurisdiction on tribal lands.

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Key Tribal Sovereignty Case Returns

A special superior court sitting is now set for next month in
Edgartown on a case that will ultimately decide whether the Wampanoag
Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has the power to police itself when it
comes to local zoning rules. The case will also decide the much larger
issue of whether the tribe cannot be sued because of sovereign immunity.

The case has attracted little attention, despite the fact that the
outcome could have far-reaching implications for every town on the
Vineyard.

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Judge Rules for Tribe in Zoning Dispute, Puts Sovereign Immunity Over Local Law

In a land-use decision that has potentially far-reaching
implications for every town on the Vineyard, a superior court judge
ruled last week that the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) cannot
be sued because of sovereign immunity.

If allowed to stand, the ruling by the Hon. Richard F. Connon has
the power to turn a landmark 1983 Indian land claims settlement on its
head.

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