CONNECTICUT - The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent have been seeking federal
recognition as a prerequisite for building a casino in western Connecticut.
However, last week Senior U.S. District Judge Peter C.
Dorsey upheld a 2005 decision by the U.S. Department of Interior to deny their
This is a major setback for the tribe, who could appeal the decision.
Schaghticoke leaders and their lawyers could not be reached to discuss the
Judge Dorsey's ruling acknowledged the political lobbying by the Mashantucket
Pequot and Mohegan tribes to defeat the Schaghticoke's efforts, but found the
Interior Departments decision was valid because the Schaghticoke did not prove
they were an "historically continuous and distinct" tribal group.
Federal recognition of the Schaghticoke was Gov. M. Jodi Rell, state Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal, and Connecticut's members of Congress.
Blumenthal was pleased with the ruling and said "Today's victory reaffirms
reality — the Schaghticoke petition for recognition failed because it was
meritless. Sovereign status must be granted only to groups that meet the
explicit federal criteria, and the Schaghticoke have failed to meet those
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