March 21, 2024

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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Vineyard Offshore Forge Historic Tribal Benefit Agreement

Groundbreaking Agreement Ensures Thoughtful Advancement of Offshore Wind, Offering Benefits for Future Generations

Mashpee, MA and Boston, MA – The federally recognized Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has entered into a historic agreement with Vineyard Offshore, a nation-leading offshore wind company.  Aimed at fostering a comprehensive, long-term relationship, this agreement reflects Vineyard Offshore’s commitment to close collaboration with Tribal Nations to ensure coordinated development and shared benefits.


“This is an opportunity to make sure that not only do we have a seat at the table but also to make sure we work together to protect our Mother Earth and future generations,” said Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Brian Weeden. “As a sovereign nation, we face the same challenges that so many nations face across the world with global warming, climate change, and much more. We stand committed to this administration's efforts for renewable energy, and this agreement is essential to doing that work collectively, nation to nation.”


The Tribal Benefit Agreement establishes a foundation for a lasting collaboration over multiple future projects, between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Vineyard Offshore. The cornerstone of this collaboration is the creation of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Offshore Wind Community Fund. The Fund will support various initiatives including scholarships, wastewater projects, language reclamation, workforce training, and importantly, tribal capacity to engage with offshore wind projects.


Through this agreement, Vineyard Offshore commits to honoring the Tribe's history and future aspirations, celebrates the opportunity to collaborate, and stands in support of the Tribe's sovereignty and self-determination.


“We are profoundly grateful for the Tribe’s partnership, and we are humbled by their willingness to collaborate with us. This agreement formalizes a longstanding partnership that has been cultivated through years of dedicated work and trust by both of our teams,” said Vineyard Offshore CEO Alicia Barton. “We hold immense respect for their stewardship of the land and ocean where our projects are being developed, and we welcome the opportunity to establish a mutually beneficial future focused on energy development, local job creation, and environmental and cultural preservation.”


Vineyard Offshore is deeply dedicated to community and has earned federal and state recognition for its outstanding collaboration with Tribal Nations. Committed to supporting Tribal education, the company established a full scholarship program with Bristol Community College. Additionally, Vineyard Offshore is supporting and advancing solar projects and has connected Tribal nations with external organizations for funding and support, notably, Mashpee Wampanoag’s collaboration with the CONNECT group, representing college and university presidents in southeastern Massachusetts.


“Throughout this process, we gained valuable insights into the Tribe’s history, present circumstances, and future aspirations. We are honored to be a part of that future and appreciative of the Tribe’s investment of time in our team,” said Vineyard Offshore Tribal Lead Jacob Miller. “We are optimistic that this agreement lays the foundation for a clean energy transition that respects tribal sovereignty and ensures long-term stewardship and shared benefits.”


The Vineyard Offshore team and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe began engaging in 2016 during the initial stages of developing Vineyard Wind 1. From the start, there has been a significant emphasis on collaboration between Tribal Nations and Vineyard Offshore projects. The long journey to this point makes this accomplishment particularly significant.

Key individuals leading this effort include from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe: Tribal Council Chairman Brian Weeden, Council Member David Weeden, Tribal Chief Earl Mills Jr., Medicine Man Soaring Eagle, Tribal Council Vice Chair Carlton Hendricks, Tribal Council Secretary Cassie Jackson, and Tribal Council Treasurer Charles “Bobby” Foster, and from Vineyard Offshore: Chief Development Officer Rachel Pachter, Tribal Lead Jacob Miller, External Affairs Director Nate Mayo; and many other valued community members.

The Tribal Benefit Agreement was formally ratified by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council on February 14, 2024.




About the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts for more than 12,000years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights. The Mashpee tribe currently has more than 3,000 enrolled citizens.


About Vineyard Offshore 

Vineyard Offshore, an affiliate of CIP, is leading the development of two lease areas in the Northeast, in addition to a recently acquired lease in Northern California, OCS-P 0562. Lease area OCS-A 522, known as Vineyard Northeast, is located off the coast of Massachusetts. OCS-A 544, known as Vineyard Mid-Atlantic and home to the Excelsior Wind Project, is located in the New York Bight. Combined with its joint venture development of the first-in-the-nation offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind, now under construction, Vineyard Offshore has the potential to develop more than 6 gigawatts of clean, renewable, and affordable energy on the East and West Coasts of the United States. To learn more, visit: