Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe


In 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a grant effectiveness case study with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to understand how the Tribe uses grant funds to increase its emergency management capabilities for both all-hazards response and preventing terrorist attacks. To inform this case study, FEMA personnel conducted a site visit to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reservation in Barnstable County in August 2019 to meet with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Emergency Management Department (MWTEMD). During this visit, FEMA discussed the Tribe’s management and use of preparedness grant dollars. FEMA collected information in this case study with the cooperation and participation of the MWTEMD. 

The following findings emerged from this case study: 

  • The Tribe’s resourceful investment of funding from multiple Federal grant programs significantly improved the Tribe’s ability to prepare for and respond to disaster events. Investments from multiple Federal and state grant programs supported the Tribe in building and sustaining key capabilities in response, recovery, mitigation, prevention, and protection. 
  • The Tribe built these capabilities based on their distinctive approach to emergency management, which prioritizes the safety of tribal elders and the Tribe’s most vulnerable members during incident response. 
  • Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP) funding significantly improved the Tribe’s capabilities that support terrorism preparedness. Specifically, THSGP-funded investments strengthened the Tribe’s emergency management program and other capabilities built initially using a combination of state and Federal funding. 
  • With improvements in capabilities through the THSGP, the Tribe increased its ability to contribute to the regional capability of the greater Cape Cod area and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by serving as a resource for mutual aid to Barnstable County and the Commonwealth. 

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in Bristol County and Barnstable County in Massachusetts that was re-acknowledged by the Federal Government in 2007. Currently, the Tribe is made up of 2,934 members and occupies 150 acres in Mashpee, Massachusetts, near Cape Cod and 170 acres in Taunton, Massachusetts. As shown below, this case study focuses on the reservation in Barnstable County. 

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Last updated January 29, 2021