Narragansett Indian Tribe: We'll take the money

May 13, 2008 7:00 PM

by Ray Poirier | For three years, members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe have rejected taking about $1.4 million in gambling money made available by Rhode Island state law.

But things have changed, say tribal leaders.

"Were facing economic hard times, just like everyone else," said Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas. He explained that federal funding to the 2,700 members of the tribe has dropped from $7.5 million to $5.5 million.

Initially the tribe refused the money because of what it described as unfair conditions attached to the annual stipend. Talks are underway to determine whether the funds could be used to pay for the tribes annual powwow in August.

The money is generated by the Twin River slots parlor at Lincoln Greyhound Park.