Tribe Goes to Federal Court In Pursuit of Casino Rights
Remy Tumin

As the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) presses ahead on various fronts to win the right to build a casino in Massachusetts, a federal judge in Boston has set next Wednesday as the date for briefs to be filed in a complicated case that now involves the state and its gaming commission, a commercial casino developer and the Vineyard tribe.

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Aquinnah Files Suit Against Tribal Move
Julia Wells

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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Key Tribal Sovereignty Case Returns
Julia Wells

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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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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Another Party in Tribal Case
Julia Wells

The Martha's Vineyard Commission announced yesterday that it will join the town of Aquinnah and ask a superior court judge to reconsider his recent ruling in favor of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

Two months ago the Hon. Richard F. Connon found that the tribe cannot be sued because of sovereign immunity.

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Sovereignty Issue Looms in Aquinnah
Julia Wells
Voters in Aquinnah are set to gather next week for a relatively routine special town meeting, but as a swirl of discussion heats up in this tiny town over the Wampanoag tribe's court case on sovereign immunity, the meeting may prove to be not-so-routine.

Five months ago a superior court judge ruled that the tribe could not be sued because of sovereign immunity.

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Alan Dershowitz Reflects on Issues of Sovereignty and Future of Vineyard
Julia Wells

Sovereignty is in the news these days.

It's in Rhode Island, where tempers are running hot in an ongoing skirmish between the Narragansett Indian Tribe and state attorney general over whether the tribe can sell tax-free tobacco.

It's in the Hamptons, where the Shinnecock Indian Nation has begun to clear land for a casino, contravening local zoning and state gaming laws.

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Its Up-Island Neighbors Urge Aquinnah to Appeal on Judge's Wampanoag Decision
Julia Wells

The Aquinnah selectmen heard a distinct plea from their up-Island neighbors this week to formally appeal the recent superior court decision that found the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) cannot be sued because of sovereign immunity.

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

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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Top State Court to Hear Appeal of Tribal Sovereignty Case
Julia Wells

Signaling its own interest in a case which has attracted attention around the country, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) agreed this week to hear the Aquinnah court appeal over sovereign immunity.

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