As Casino Plans Stall, Tribe Faces Internal Issues
Remy Tumin

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the first federally recognized American Indian tribe in the commonwealth, is going through a period of significant change as it pursues plans to build a casino in an uncertain economic and regulatory climate.

The hope of building a casino in southeastern Massachusetts has been thwarted by state officials, and a previously announced plan to convert the tribal community center to a bingo hall appears to be stalled.

No application has been filed with the town and the still-unfinished building has no certificate of occupancy permit.

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Filings Crowd Casino Case
Remy Tumin

The Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association this week joined the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in trying to insert the question of the Vineyard tribe’s right to build a casino in Massachusetts into a broader federal lawsuit.

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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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Cranberry Day Celebrates Rich Indian History
Mark Alan Lovewell
Cranberry Day observances brought the youngest and oldest members of the Wampanoag Tribe together on Tuesday. The weather couldn't have been better as the tribal nation celebrated its most popular holiday.
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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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Tribe Issues Community Center Permit; $1.2 Million Project Impacts Wetland
Julia Wells

Tribe Issues Community Center Permit; $1.2 Million Project Impacts Wetland

JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

In the first regulatory review under its own maiden government since the superior court decision on sovereign immunity last year, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) this week permitted itself to build a 6,500-square-foot community center off Black Brook Road in Aquinnah.

The community center will be built around a wetland.

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MVC Allows Tribal Community Center
Jim Hickey

After a brief public hearing and a whirlwind deliberation session, the Martha's Vineyard Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a community center for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on Black Brook Road.

The community center is in fact already partially built. The tribe first broke ground on the center in the spring of 2004; the building remains half-finished.

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Tribe Buys, Blesses New Tri-Town Ambulance

Chief medicine man Luther T. Madison blessed the latest ambulance of the tri-town fleet in a ceremony held on the lawn of the tribal administration building on Sept. 17. Present were tribal members, members of tribal council, tribal staff, tri-town emergency medical technicians, Aquinnah selectmen, Aquinnah fire chief Walter Delaney and Aquinnah police chief Randhi Belain.

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Moshup’s Treasure Needs Protection
Brendan O'Neill

The Legend of Moshup is an ancient creation story from the Wampanoag oral tradition. It tells of the giant Moshup, the personification of the immense forces of nature, deciding to settle here after a long journey, and dragging his foot to separate Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland and plow up the Cliffs of Gay Head. Scraps from his dinner table are the fossilized bones and teeth of ancient life forms found there.

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Wôpanâak Talk Leads Little Doe To Genius Grant
Peter Brannen

Jessie Little Doe Baird was having a bad week. On Sept. 13 she went to a ceremony to ask for cleansing, to ask for help and to give thanks for the good and the bad in her life.

“We need both of those things, unfortunately. We do,” she said in an interview at her home in Aquinnah, built by her husband, the medicine man of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), Jason Baird.

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