Oldest Living Hassanamisco Chief Charges Nipmuc Nation with Attempted Genocide

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The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced that the Nipmuc Nation of Sutton, Massachusetts will have its Federal Recognition decision by May 1, 2004. The hereditary Chief and Tribal Trustees have severed ties with the Nipmuc group.

The Hassanamisco Indian Tribal government has withdrawn from the Nipmuc Nation Tribal Petition for Federal recognition. The hereditary Chief and Trustees have notified the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that the Nipmuc Nation and their deep-pocketed financial backers have violated age-old traditions of the Hassanamisco Indians in their "at all costs" effort to get Federal recognition. "In their pursuit to build a casino they have violated a sacred trust" stated Chief Silver Arrow “because their investors realized that by claiming the Hassanamisco Indian Reservation they would not only protect their investments but also obtain access to economic development rights reserved for historic American Indians lands.”

In effect, the Nipmuc Nation created themselves in 1996, and committed genocide on the Hassanamisco traditional government. They secretly removed Chief Silver Arrow and his family from the tribal roll, re engineered the petition and called it Petition #69A. The Nipmuc Nation submitted its petition to the BIA, but it lacked a clearly demonstrated historic relationship to a tribal community as well as a land base, “so they grabbed Hassanamisco and attempted to use the proprietary family which linked all of the Blackstone Valley’s Nipmuck country.” according to the Chief “The Nipmuc Nation has never held a land trust, so they decided to steal ours.”

The Hassanamisco Chief became aware that the Nipmuc Nation created the new petition in 2002 and had not included him. Believing that joining the Nipmuc Nation would help to build the Indian nation as well as strengthen the Federal petition, he lobbied for inclusion on the petition and won. "We had hoped to bring legitimacy to the Nipmuc Nation" comments Tribal Trustee Darlene Morningstar Silva, "but instead realized that we were the victims of identity theft when they staged a raid on sacred lands and called a Trustee non Nipmuc.”

Chief Silver Arrow has removed himself and the hereditary family from the Nipmuc Nation Petition #69A. He has asked the BIA to consider the historic Petition #69 and to review the Nipmuc Nation Petition based on its own history. He charged that without his knowledge or consent the original petition, which has been pending for more than two decades, simply disappeared from BIA consideration. “It is our time to safeguard those things that our ancestors left to our protection” states the Chief “the Nipmuc Nation is a civic organization playing Indian to get a casino.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is expected to make a decision for Federal Recognition and Acknowledgement for the Nipmucs by May 1, 2004.


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Darlene Morningstar Silva