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Mashantucket Leader Confident Biden Will Serve Native Community

Jessica Hill
/
Associated Press
Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

The chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation said he’s confident Joe Biden — if elected — will build upon the work former President Barack Obama made in serving the Native American community.

Rodney Butler is also a Connecticut Democratic Delegate. He said Biden demonstrated his support to Native Americans by building a Democratic National Committee caucus representing the community.

“He’s incorporating us into his platform," Butler said. "I have been on a couple of roundtables with Vice President Biden over the past few months. I had the opportunity to pick his brain and see where we are at and where his perspective is on Indian Country, and he’s all on board.”

The tribe’s casino, Foxwoods, was closed for two months amid the pandemic, and many workers were laid off. The casino re-opened in June at a reduced capacity.

The tribe did get some federal assistance during the pandemic. But Butler said the funding carries restrictions. He’s banking on the next administration to help the tribe unlock more money.