By Associated Press - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) - The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is touting support from a key federal agency in its bid to protect its reservation lands.

The Cape Cod tribe on Tuesday highlighted written testimony submitted to Congress by Bureau of Indian Affairs Acting Director Darryl LaCounte stating the agency’s support of legislation enshrining the 321-acre reservation into law.

But the mayor of Brockton, Massachusetts and other opponents submitted testimony critical of the proposal, saying the bill serves to benefit a Malaysian casino company partnering with the tribe on a planned casino.

The testimony was submitted ahead of a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on the proposal.

The U.S. Department of Interior is reviewing a 2015 decision granting the lands to the tribe in a case being closely watched by tribes across the country.

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