Tribes want feds to explain controversial land decision

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The country’s largest Native American organization is calling on President Trump’s administration to explain its decision not to recognize the reservation of a Massachusetts’ tribe.

The National Congress of American Indians said Tuesday it “disagrees strongly” with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision Friday to reverse a decision that held in trust land for the Mashpee Wampanoag (MASH’-pee WAHM’-puh-nawg) tribe.

The organization wants the agency to specifically explain what the decision could mean for broader Indian land policy under Trump.The Interior Department took 321 acres into trust for the Mashpee in 2015, but a federal judge ordered the agency to reconsider the decision after local residents sued.

Indian law experts have suggested a loss of the trust lands could have broader implications for tribes.
The Interior Department and Bureau of Indian Affairs didn’t immediately comment.
 

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