Region 1: EPA New England
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe achieved formal recognition on May 23, 2007, as the 10th federally recognized tribe in New England under Department of Interior rules. The EPA New England Region will work with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in a government-to-government manner as is done with every federally recognized Tribe in New England.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council is led by Chairman, Shawn Hendricks. With a population of 1,530 members, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has the largest native population in Massachusetts. It is well documented that the tribe has lived on its native homeland since at least the time of European contact in the early 16th century. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomed the Pilgrims to the New World in the spirit of peace and brotherhood. This tribe taught the Pilgrims to survive and flourish in their new home, playing host to them at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Since that historic period, the Mashpee Wampanoag have served their tribal community and their fellow citizens in the town of Mashpee, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America as neighbors and friends.
Mashpee is located on Nantucket Sound and is bounded by two Great Coves: Waquoit and Poppenesset Bays. The land also includes several great ponds and other wetland resources. Aboriginal rights such as hunting, fishing and gathering have always been cherished by the Mashpee and have long been recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They provide the Tribal Government with significant income and serve to bring members, old and young, together in traditional pursuits.
The Tribe has purchased 325 acres of land in Middleborough. This land is identified by the Tribe as the location for a possible Tribal Gaming Enterprise. The Tribe owns approximately 175 acres of land in Mashpee. The Tribe intends to have these lands placed in trust under Bureau of Indian Affairs rules. The tribe is also establishing a Natural Resources Environmental Protection Department to manage and protect Tribal land and resources.