Coordinates: 41°27′58″N 71°58′28″W / 41.46611°N 71.97444°W / 41.46611; -71.97444
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is a federally recognized American Indian tribe in the state of Connecticut. They are descended from the Pequot people, an Algonquian-language tribe that dominated the southern New England coastal areas, and they own and operate Foxwoods Resort Casino within their reservation in Ledyard, Connecticut. As of 2018, Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the largest casinos in the world in terms of square footage, casino floor size, and number of slot machines, and it was one of the most economically successful in the United States until 2007, but it became deeply in debt by 2012 due to its expansion and changing conditions.
The tribe was federally recognized in 1983 through the Mashantucket Pequot Land Claims Settlement Act. The federal land claims suit was brought by the tribe against the State of Connecticut and the Federal government, charging that the tribe had been illegally deprived of its land through state actions that were not ratified by the Senate. As part of the settlement of this suit, Congress gave federal recognition to the tribe, in addition to approving financial compensation so that the tribe could repurchase lost land. Tribal membership is based on proven lineal descent of 11 Pequot families whose ancestors were listed in the 1900 US Census.
The Mashantucket Pequot tribe is one of two federally recognized tribes in Connecticut, the other being the Mohegan Indian Tribe.