Mark Sebastian, Vice Chairman of the Eastern Pequot Tribe
...The Vice Chairman (Mark Sebastian) does whatever he pleases without any repercussions from anyone.The Tribal Council
has discussed many violations made by councilors, there have been investigations launched, but yet it all falls through the cracks ...."
Jackson and Sebastian
both said that such an "implosion" was likely following the recent events and that all tribal leaders are re-evaluating their levels of involvement.
...Sebastian, the vice chairman, said of the Cunhas' departure: "Your skin has got to be thick.
said that the Eastern Pequots
inhabit the oldest continually occupied reservation in the state and that their petition, which documents the tribe's genealogy and history, is as strong as any.
Like other members, Sebastian
said the tribe is the victim of a political decision, not a factual analysis of their qualifications.He
remembers when Connecticut officials encouraged state-recognized tribes like the Eastern Pequots
to apply for federal recognition because the state could not - or would not - assist the tribes with services such as health care, housing and education.Sebastian
finds it ironic that the state would then turn around and fight the tribe's efforts to gain federal recognition.
"They used public money to deny a group of people a public benefit," he
and other tribal members have noted that many of the same politicians who opposed them accept campaign contributions from the Mashantuckets and Mohegans.
"They talk about no more expansion of gaming, but the existing casinos are expanding every five years," he
said."It's not really the expansion of gaming but the expansion of gaming entities." Sebastian
said the tribe pursued gaming because a backer would have never given them the millions of dollars they needed to get through the federal recognition process if they planned to open something like a water-bottling business rather than a casino. He
has no animosity toward the backers, who are now withdrawing their support.
said, "We have to evaluate whether we even need another backer and whether we want to pursue gaming anymore."
In any event, he
would continue to work for the tribe.
"This is another day in Pequot history," Sebastian