Narragansett Indians want Navy land in Newport, RI





Hundreds of prime acres are up for grabs in this waterfront city and its neighboring towns, valuable commodity on an island known for prized beaches, lavish homes and natural beauty.

The 260 acres on Aquidneck Island were for decades owned by the U.S. Navy, which says it no longer needs the land and is moving to unload it. The island communities envision the property as untapped economic potential for sweeping new development.

But another suitor — the Narragansett Indian Tribe — says the land falls under its ancestral footprint and is mounting a bid that may conflict with local development plans.

The Narragansett, Rhode Island's only federally recognized American Indian tribe, say getting the land would allow it to expand far beyond its existing reservation and would create room for a hotel complex, shopping, a cultural center, park space and public housing.

The tribe and its supporters see an unprecedented opportunity for a population that's grappled with poverty and whose past efforts at development, including a tax-free smoke shop and proposed casino, have been rejected by the state....



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