Town leaders, tribe sign Mashpee land agreement

Mashpee Masschusetts (AP) 4-08

Mashpee selectmen have signed an agreement with the Masphee Wampanoags to help the tribe’s bid to put town land into trust with the federal government.

Voters approved the agreement, which was signed April 22.

Mashpee will help the tribe’s effort to place 140 acres in trust in exchange for a promise not to build a casino in town or take private or town-owned land.

A side agreement also allows the tribe to seek federal trust status for the town cemetery in exchange for honoring the rights of non-natives who have cemetery plots or family members already buried there.

The tribe is also seeking to place in trust 539 acres in Middleboro, where it wants to build a casino.

State officials have objected to the applications, mainly on environmental grounds.