Eastern Pequot Tribe to still pursue federal recognition

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A tribal model canoe is on display inside the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NORTH STONINGTON — The newly elected chairwoman of the Eastern Pequot Tribe says they will never abandon their quest to receive federal recognition.

The Day reports the Eastern Pequots began pursuing federal recognition in the 1970s. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs dropped a provision last month allowing three state-recognized tribes in Connecticut — the Eastern Pequots, Schaghticokes  and Golden Hill Paugussetts — to reapply for recognition.

The tribe’s new leader, Katherine Sebastian Dring, says the tribe feels confident they can still regain federal recognition. She says they originally pursued recognition to secure federal aid for health, education and housing programs and possible economic development.

The Eastern Pequots won recognition in 2002 but it was withdrawn three years later when the state and Ledyard, North Stonington and Preston objected.