The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe turned to federal law to validate what it regarded as its superior rights to its ancestral land. What the Mashpee Tribe discovered was that federal law served as both a resource and constraint; the law presumed Indian ways to be primitive, chaotic, timeless, simple; more troubling, it assumed that any tribal adaptation to colonial society was in fact an assimilative embrace of the mainstream. According to this view, if tribespeople conformed to the broader culture, they were said to be choosing to assimilate.
|—||Jo Carillo, Identity as Idiom: Mashpee Reconsidered, 28 Indiana L. Rev. 511, 544 (1995).|