Todd & Weld is deeply committed to tribal sovereignty and the recognition of tribal rights. Our lawyers have experience representing tribal interests in a wide range of forums and on a wide range of issues, from assertion of sovereignty and gaming interests to internal governance matters.
The firm has the great privilege of representing the federally recognized Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe. We represent the Tribe, tribal officials and committees and tribal members in connection with litigation in state and federal court, and in the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Court, where several of our lawyers were the first to be sworn into the Tribal Bar. Todd & Weld lawyers advise the Tribal Council, Tribal officers, and Tribal government committees - from the enrollment committee to the election committee – both in the drafting and adoption of Tribal laws, resolutions and legal documents, and in implementing law and legal policy.
Todd & Weld partner Howard Cooper acts as lead counsel to the Tribe and as the Tribe has pursued its rights to build a destination resort casino in Massachusetts, his work with the Mashpee Wampanoag and its members has included compact negotiations with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, representation before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, communications with the Department of the Interior and assistance with the Tribe's federal efforts to obtain trust land. The firm also represents a tribal member in a lawsuit against a municipality seeking to enforce his ancient aboriginal rights as a Native American under the federal Supremacy Clause to fish and shellfish free from local interference.