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New Tribal Chair Elected Amid Vineyard Casino Proposal

This article is more than 5 years old.

The newly elected chair of the Wampanoag tribe of Aquinnah won't say where he stands on the tribe's proposed casino on Martha's Vineyard.

Tobias Vanderhoop, 39, won Sunday's tribal election by a vote of 165-91, according to the Vineyard Gazette. Vanderhoop, who defeated current Chair Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, takes office in January.

He won the election days after the tribe revealed that the federal government has recognized its right to develop a casino on tribal land on the Vineyard. Andrews-Maltais had announced that the tribe plans to open a gaming facility in the town of Aquinnah within months.

On Monday, Vanderhoop told WBUR he believes the Aquinnah Wampanoags do have rights under federal law to develop a casino on their land. But he wouldn't say whether he supports the current gaming proposal on the site of a tribal community center.

"There needs to be a proper and open discussion with our tribal citizens," he said. "I support an appropriate gaming initiative, but the people decide what appropriate means."

This program aired on November 18, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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