Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

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Cultural History

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is one of the Native American Tribes who has experienced dramatic changes in its fortune. The tribe has long occupied the Mashantucket area located in the Southeastern portion of Connecticut for more than ten thousand years now. The tribe used to have at least eight thousand members prior to the contact with the Europeans. The tribe, during the time has also invaded a land area of almost 250 square miles. It was only during the Pequot War in 1636 to 1638 when the population trimmed down and the first conflict between the colonists and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation was inflicted. The indigenous New England people had a dramatic impact on the tribe’s history and culture.

Upon the termination of the Pequot War, several tribal members were already killed while others were put into slavery under the European invaders. The one who were under the governance of the Mohegans were soon known as the Mashantucket or the Western Pequots. These people were granted land is in Noank, in the eyar 1651. However, in the following years, in 1666, the land given to them in Noank was ceded and was considered to be the property of the MAshantucket once again.

The Pequots engaged in several battles to keep their land, while losing some of their members to the other intruding forces. In the year 1774, the population of the tribe was seriously diminished into onel 151 tribal members who were residing in Mashantucket. More and more members soon moved out of the reservation to seek for work among the other nations. While some moved to search for work, others joined the Brotherton Movement, which then was a Christian-Indian movement that invited Natives hailing from New England. These people were then convinced to resettle in lands located in the upstate New York and few years later, Wisconsin. The remaining lands in Connecticut were brought on sale illegally but were recognized as legal thus reducing the 989 acres of land to only 213 acres. 

The members of the tribe soon began returning to their homelands in the Mashantcuket Reservation in order to relieve their community and rekindle the flames of their almost extinct culture. The tribe was also after sell sufficiency, economic development and restoration of their communities as well as engaging in business ventures.

The tribe gained back their land from the selling of the former land owners and signing of treaties and compacts with the government. The tribe is now engaged in several business ventures, most of which has started in the earlier times and soon gained progress in the following years that came. Some of the well known business enterprises that the tribe owns are the selling of cord wood, selling of maple syrup, gardening vegetables and gravel business. In 1992, the tribe was also successful in establishing their own casino known as the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

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