Below is a copy of a letter was sent to Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Legislators. To view the letter on letterhead please click on the following link EPTN-GovMalloy.
Dear Governor Malloy and Connecticut (CT) Legislators,
The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation (EPTN), one of America’s first people, is a state recognized tribe established by the colonial government in 1683. Our tribal nation is located on one of the oldest, continually occupied reservations in the country.
There has been much discussion and debate about a 3rd and possibly a 4th casino in Connecticut and who has the exclusive right to operate these casinos. Should casino development be open to all tribes and businesses and not only the (2) federally recognized tribes in CT? All CT citizens want to increase the revenue in CT. It seems foreseeable that an increase in casino operations from whatever source would increase the total revenue in CT and therefore increase the distribution to all tribes and towns involved.
However, a crucial issue has been omitted from this discussion: Has the Pequot- Mohegan Fund been equitably and fairly distributed to all tribes impacted by the casino operations? Clearly it has not! The Historic Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation Reservation lies in the direct impact of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot casinos and receives no funds from the Pequot-Mohegan Fund.
The tribe has suffered increased trespassers and traffic on its sacred reservation as visitors to the casino explore the immediate area. The tribe desperately needs funds to securely maintain its roads and reservation infrastructure. Further, the tribe plans to develop educational tours through a safe and guided tour on its historic reservation for our community and those visiting our state.
As stated in our recent petition to the US Department of the Interior, “The State of Connecticut has unabashedly opposed the Petitioner’s acknowledgment solely because it perceives it to be contrary to its economic interest. Since historical times the Colony and the State of Connecticut have engaged in a discriminatory pattern and practice which has resulted in the near extinction of the Tribe. In 1625, Connecticut had (16) sixteen tribes. Currently, the State only supports the two (2) federally acknowledged Tribes from whom they receive substantial revenues, and has opposed the three (3) other state recognized tribes despite a statutory obligation. The State’s opposition to acknowledgment is a breach of its fiduciary duties and those delineated in Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 824 §47-65, and is discriminatory, constituting bias per se.”
CT’s inaction and neglect to uphold its statutory obligation, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 824 with all the rights and privileges afforded by law to the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, one of America’s first people, is a disgrace and a travesty of justice.
The State and local communities have discriminated against the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation and engaged in genocidal conduct to protect themselves from land claims and to receive substantial revenues from gambling proceeds from the Pequot-Mohegan Fund in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The United States Constitution Amendment XIV Section 1 states, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Historic Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation strongly urges CT to ensure an equal distribution of the Mohegan Pequot Fund to our tribe. With these funds we will maintain our historic land and enhance the overall education and development of our community.
Honoring our ancestors and the seven generations yet unborn,
Katherine Sebastian Dring, Chairwoman, Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
cc. Secretary Zinke
US Department of the Interior