Legal Alerts/Details

Massachusetts District Court Judge Rules U.S. Department of Interior Acted Legally in Mashpee Wampanoag Decision

February 28, 2023
  1. Katharine Greer is a law student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and provided material assistance in the production of this alert. Katharine Greer is not a licensed attorney.

  2. Littlefield et al. v. United States Department of the Interior et al., case number 1:22-cv-10273, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

  3. Brian Weeden, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Tribe Wins Land Suit: Message from Chairman Brian Weeden, MASHPEE WAMPANOAG TRIBE (Feb. 10, 2023),

  4. 25 U.S.C. § 5129.

  5. H.R. Rep. No. 73-1804 (1934).

  6. 555 U.S. 379 (2009).

  7. U.S. Dept. of Interior, M-37029, Memorandum on the Meaning of “Under federal jurisdiction” for Purposes of the IRA (March 12, 2014) (hereinafter M-Opinion).

  8. Littlefield v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, 199 F. Supp. 3d 391 (D. Mass. 2016) (hereinafter Littlefield I).

  9. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe v. Bernhardt, 466 F. Supp. 3d 199 (D.D.C. 2020).

  10. Littlefield v. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, 951 F.3d 30 (1st Cir. 2020) (hereinafter Littlefield II).

  11. Zane Razzaq, “Land, Heritage, and Culture Protected.” U.S. Courts Sides with Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, CAPE COD TIMES (Feb. 15, 2023),

©2024 Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. All rights reserved. The purpose of this publication is to provide readers with information on current topics of general interest and nothing herein shall be construed to create, offer, or memorialize the existence of an attorney-client relationship. The content should not be considered legal advice or opinion, because it may not apply to the specific facts of a particular matter. As guidance in areas is constantly changing and evolving, you should consider checking for updated guidance, or consult with legal counsel, before making any decisions.
One East Washington Street | Suite 2700 | Phoenix, AZ 85004
The material in this newsletter may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the written permission of Snell & Wilmer.