Cedric Cromwell, President of the Gaming Authority and Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council
As a member of the Tribal Council and particularly during his term as Chairman, Cromwell has focused on increasing economic development opportunities for his Tribe. He has been an advocate and key proponent of many Tribal initiatives aimed at improving the circumstances and living conditions of Tribal citizens across Indian Country.
Key examples of these initiatives include the following:
- Development of a $500 million world-class destination resort Indian gaming facility in Taunton, Massachusetts, including:
- Negotiating a specific exception in the newly adopted Massachusetts Gaming Act granting exclusivity to an Indian gaming facility owned and operated by federal recognized tribe in Southeastern Massachusetts;
- Selecting as a financial partner and manager affiliates of one of the World’s largest and most profitable gaming enterprises (Genting);
- Negotiating an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Taunton to mitigate the impact of the gaming facility on the host community (Taunton);
- Successfully advocating in Taunton the adoption of a supportive referendum for the Tribe’s proposed facility by a wide margin; and
- Negotiating a Compact with the Governor of Massachusetts (still in process).
- Development of the first Wampanoag Health Service Unit, serving all Mashpee Wampanoag tribal members and other Native Americans who are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe.
- Development of a 43,000 sq. ft., $12.7 million, USDA funded Tribal Community Government building, creating for the first time a permanent, physical seat of governmental and Tribal community services. In 2015, the Tribe was awarded a $72,000 rebate check and recognition plaque for exemplary environmental stewardship in the building of an energy efficient Community & Government Center. The building was also the recipient of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) 2015 Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency Award.
- Developing a multifamily housing development in Mashpee for Tribal members and families.
- Organizing and encouraging new or continuing Tribal initiatives in the following areas:
- Elder programs;
- Youth programs, including child welfare, child care, education, job training, educational support and sobriety counseling;
- Natural resource preservation, including shellfish farming;
- Veterans programs;
- Energy assistance;
- Cultural heritage, including schooling in the Tribe’s native language, as well as preservation of the Tribe’s historical sites, including a museum, meeting house and grave sites.
- Native Tribal Scholars Program
- Developing and managing stable, reliable Tribal operating and development budgets through implementation and audit.
In perhaps his single most critical initiative, Cromwell has also been the key proponent of the Tribe in pursuing the Tribe’s land-into-trust application, currently pending before the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior for the purposes of creating the Tribe’s initial reservation. Although residents in Southeastern Massachusetts for thousands of years, the Tribe remains landless and without a recognized reservation. In pursuing its land into trust application the Tribe, with Cromwell in the forefront, is on the leading edge of defending tribal sovereignty in the face of the Carcieri and related judicial decisions. In the preparation of the land into trust application and supporting materials, the Tribe, under Chairman Cromwell’s leadership, has assembled extensive historical and cultural records which will be of continuing value to the Tribe.
In addition to his leadership role within the Mashpee Tribe, Cromwell also serves as Treasurer of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB); Alternate Vice President for the Eastern Region of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); as well as a board member of the United South Eastern Tribes (USET), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), and the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA).