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Mass. tribes seek separate voice

Associated Press | 3/16/2010, 5:41 a.m.

Also, the Mashpee and Gay Head tribes turned down a mitigation offer of $1 million each from the developers of Cape Wind, a 130-turbine wind farm proposed in Nantucket Sound. The two tribes oppose the project, saying it would be built on a long-submerged tribal burial ground and interfere with ancient rituals that require an unblocked view of the horizon.

Linda Morales-Morceau, chief of the Chappiquiddics, agreed with the decision to reject the money, comparing it to trading “beads for Manhattan,” while Spring Buffalo said Cape Wind is an inevitability and the money could have been used to help his tribe during a brutal economy. But both said their tribes should have been consulted as fellow Wampanoag who share concerns about their ancestors’ burial grounds and other affects of the project.

“They’re telling us that we have no voice,” said Morales-Morceau, whose historic tribal lands are on Chappaquiddick Island, which borders Nantucket Sound. “All of us have just looked at each other and said, ‘We can’t take this anymore, it’s a new day, new time.’”

Peters said he would be open to working with the new group.

“What their intentions are and how much strength they can muster, I’m not sure,” he said.

Associated Press