Tribe celebrates grand opening of new ‘hub’

By: Sean F. Driscoll

MASHPEE — The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will celebrate the opening of its new government center and tribal headquarters this weekend, more than a year after ground was broken on the $12.5 million building.

The building brings nearly all of the tribe’s functions under one roof, including its housing, public safety and natural resources commissions, its court system, a food pantry and tribal archives. After 16 months of construction, tribal officials moved in to the 483 Great Neck Road South facility in late February.

The building is another sign of the tribe’s resurgence since gaining federal recognition in 2007, said tribal council Chairman Cedric Cromwell.

“It’s full circle. It’s amazing,” Cromwell said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for our tribe to have this community government center, a place that’s the hub of our tribal universe where people can use all the services that are provided to our people. “It really symbolizes the true renaissance for our tribe,” he added.

The new headquarters is in the same location as the old government center, which allowed the existing parking area to be maintained and limited the amount of land that needed to be cleared. The tribe’s health offices continue to be located on the 7-acre campus.

The tribe’s invitation-only grand opening celebration Saturday will include traditional Wampanoag cuisine, celebrations and entertainment.