Wuneekeesuq Nutawâm (Greetings to my Tribal Community),
I write to you with exciting news about the economic future of our Tribe. At our February General Meeting, I announced our intention to pursue land in Taunton for a destination resort casino. I am proud to tell you today that we have entered into an option to purchase land along Route 24, and we will be publicly announcing our plans with the City of Taunton this week.
This new partnership with the City of Taunton is a tangible step toward our goal of economic self-sufficiency through the development of a destination resort casino. Our integrated destination resort concept will include a casino, hotels, fine and casual dining, entertainment space, spa, and waterpark.
I hope that you will join me at the March General Meeting on March 11th at 2:00 pm at Mashpee High School to learn more about this plan.
There are many steps that must be taken to achieve our goal. These include a referendum vote in the City of Taunton so voters can have a say on the location of a destination resort in the city, negotiation of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the city, negotiation of a Compact with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and amending our Land-Into-Trust Application to include our new location in Taunton. In addition, we are continuing the process, with your input, of drafting and passing a new Gaming Ordinance. We have also hired a financial analyst to create a financial model to show what money the Tribe can expect to receive at different stages of the operation of this resort while paying down debt service and also determining when per capita distributions will become available.
As you know, the Tribe has great needs in providing funding for housing, health care, education, cultural, natural resources, economic development, and other programs. Tribal Council must approve any revenues to be spent on these government functions. Per capita distribution plans must be approved by both the Tribal Council and the Department of Interior.
I look forward to speaking with you about our plans and receiving your thoughts and guidance as we move forward. Tribal Council and I will do our best to keep you updated every step of the way during this exciting and fast-moving process. As always, I appreciate your feedback and your support.
Cedric Cromwell Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)
Chairman, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe