Wampanoag pair drop civil rights suit

 Binghams drop civil rights lawsuit against tribe

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In 1974 Amelia Bingham was one of the group who established the first tribal council.

Amelia Bingham and her son who claimed their civil rights were violated when the tribal council shunned them are dropping their lawsuit against the tribe. She and her son, Steven were shunned for seven years after they sought access to tribe financial records two years ago.

By being shunned they ( and two other who were shunned at the same time) lost tribal benefits and were barred from tribal events.

The questions in their suit filed in December '06 helped lead to a federal investigation of former Chairman Glenn Marshall who faces corruption and fraud charges as an indirect result oif the action taken by the Binghams.

The shunned members were reinstated last week when the council said charges against Marshall vindicated them.

Filed another suit in October to recover land

Last October, Amelia and Steven Bingham had filed a land claimagainst the Town of Mashpee and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,leaving out private property but seeking to reclaim more than 4,000acres of publicly owned land.

Suit asked for “just compensation” for all the other land in town taken from Natives in 1860 and 1870

They filed that complaint in US District Court in Boston, making good on their threats over the past 15 months that theywould sue for land they claim was illegally taken from their ancestorswhen the town was incorporated in 1870.

A spokesman for the tribal council, Gayle Andrews, said on Wednesday that the suit has “nothing to do with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe".

The class action lawsuit seeks possession of all town- and state-owned land, except the part of “Otis Air Force Base” in Mashpee, Seconsett, and Monomoscoy.

The suit asked for “just compensation” for all the other land in town taken from Native Americans in 1860 and 1870, when the Town of Mashpee was incorporated and asks that the state and the town pay “fair rental value” for the use of the land in town since 1870.
Mr. Bingham said the town and the state should not have allowed the property to be bought and sold, knowing the legal liability to which the new property buyers would be subject.

The Binghams were the only two plaintiffs listed on this new complaint, and they filed the class action suit on behalf of other descendants of the “South Sea Indians,” a historical term used for Native Americans in the region.

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