The Pilgrims had no trouble recognizing their Indian neighbors, but the U.S. government drew a blank until this afternoon. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has received preliminary approval of their request for federal recognition, with final approval expected within a year.
"History in one respect now comes full circle," tribal chief Vernon Lopez said in a statement. "Our ancestors, as a sovereign nation, met the Mayflower, and that meeting led to the birth of this great nation. Today, our government has reaffirmed this status and the faith of that first meeting." [Link]And yes, the Wampanoag have expressed interest in starting up a gambling operation. Perhaps a floating casino aboard the Mayflower II?