Shinnecock Nation Wins Procedural Victory in Federal Recognition Appeal

From tv, via Pechanga:

The Connecticut gaming group spearheading the challenge to the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s long-sought federal recognition was denied extra time to file additional paperwork in support of their argument in a ruling in early August.

The decision is a minor victory for the members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, who have waited decades for federal recognition, and who want the legal challenge to their bid filed by the Connecticut Coalition for Gaming Jobs to be resolved as quickly as possible. Shinnecock Tribal Trustee Lance Gumbs had expressed frustration earlier this summer that the challenges had halted the tribe’s official federal recognition essentially on the eve of when they were slated to receive the designation.

“Obviously, their stuff was frivolous and they weren’t prepared,” Mr. Gumbs said of the CCGJ’s denied request. “It is what it is. They brought a frivolous suit and tried to build a case around it.”

The Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or IBIA, which is an administrative judicial department within the U.S. Department of the Interior charged with reviewing objections to federal recognition, denied the motion on August 4. If granted, the motion would have given CCGJ an additional month to file papers in support of its standing within the case against the Shinnecock Indian Nation. The board stated that CCGJ has already submitted arguments on its standing after initially filing 400 pages of arguments in July.

The CCGJ’s basic arguments surround its claims that allowing the Shinnecock Indian Nation to become federally recognized, the key step required to allow the tribe to move forward with a proposal for a casino, would negatively impact Connecticut’s gaming interest. Another objection to the tribe’s federal recognition was raised by a faction of the Montaukett Indian Nation, known as the Montauk Tribe of Long Island; however, the Montaukett are not challenging the Nation’s actual federal recognition.

Mark Tilden, the Colorado attorney litigating the Shinnecocks’ federal recognition case, said he has recently filed response briefs charging that the CCGJ lacks interested party status under federal law to challenge the federal recognition.

Mr. Gumbs has previously stated that criteria for interested party status includes either being the governor, the state’s attorney general, or any recognized or unrecognized Indian group that would be affected by the awarding of another tribe’s federal recognition. The challenger may also be a third party with significant property or legal interests.

Mr. Tilden said the IBIA has committed to review whether the challengers have standing by October 18.

The benefits of federal recognition are broad, said Mr. Tilden. Tribes that are federally recognized achieve benefits in the areas of health, education and housing through a slew of federal programs. “It’s really hard to pinpoint … because there’s so much out there federal recognition tribes are able to ask,” he said.

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6 Responses to Shinnecock Nation Wins Procedural Victory in Federal Recognition Appeal

  1. Chief: Osceola Townsend says:

    I Osceola Townsend,Historical Chief of the Matinecock Tribal Nation of queens and Long Island,strongly object to a hand full of Monttauck Individuals that have no land base no organization ,just a bunch of frustrated individuals that hates to see a Historical Tribal Nation asertain Federal Recogination.
    Those few frustated individuals are no better off then the Matinecocks,whom have no State Recogination.We the Matinecocks were at one point part of the Delaware -Muncie Indians in the year 1635 lay no claim to Long Island. You have three or four people who call themselves Chief”s
    The only individual that I would recognize as a Chief is Robert Farrow.This young man’s family was written in the history books of time. From what I understand Robert is not Shinnecock but cousin to the Shinnecock’s ,also that I would like to point out that the State of Connecticut has no right to try and impose its laws on the State of NY, No State has Autonomy over another State. Native Americans out side the State of New York, also have no right and to try and deny the rights of another and lay claim to that States Autonomy.
    I have spoken
    Chief. Osceola Townsend

  2. Delores Vaughan says:

    I am not understanding your comment that no Matinecocks’ hold claim to Long Island. To my
    knowledge Tackapusha and or Rumsuck held territory in part of Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk. The fact that we are the decendents of these people intitle us to feel a sense of claim.

    I also know that those of us who were part of the Long House have state reconition. because the Manhasset Church is designated as a historical site. As far as your thoughts concerning the off reservation native of Long Island. The idea is good. and has been tried before.The only way that I can see it working is if all the title of chiefs of today are dropped. It would be a good idea to come togeather as decendents of the tribes using the connection of prior chiefs to form a confederacy, but no chiefs of today, since so many people are claiming to be the chief of same tribe. Peace and love Delores

  3. Chief Osceola says:

    Yes Delores you are right in so far as the Matinecocks at one time lay claim to those areas that you mentioned in Queens and Long Island
    How ever I should of been more specific when I mentioned Long Island.
    The Matinecocks regained recogination through the Church of the New Alley when the Long House was located on Prince Street Flushing , The State of New York and Queens Borough President Pat Clancy and his Secretary Josh Smith was at the cermoney.Yes I have the original papers.I was their in the late fifties Princess Sun-Tama, Ann Harding Murdock and Sachem John Standing Waters were the responsible leaders of the Matinecock Long House at that time,soon after I relocated to California and then to New Mexico
    Princess Sun-Tama was still alive when she wrote me when I was residing in California and requested my presence at a demonstration the Matinecocks were involved in the building of Rochdale Village in Jamica,of course I could not leave my family in California.I had a good job as Investigator for the State of California.No I did not know hardly any one on my return to New York years later,yes I did remember your mother and a few other individuals, Asiba and her mother and many others were not in the picture until the early eighties Mother Harret Gumbs and Harry Wallace mother and Aunts use to visit the Long House.I do have to give Asiba a lot of credit for the Knowledge she had learned about the Matinnecock Tribe.
    I will call you 10/9/10 some time in the early day
    Yes Chief: Osceola

  4. Delores Vaughan says:

    I have read you response and glad to know that you made a mistake relating to Matinecock territories.

    This is something that just came to mind. Where would you suggest the Matinecock archives go when those of us that are still here can no longer represent our people….

  5. sandra bennerson says:

    i am one of those card carring frustraed Montauck individuals, Mr. Osceola Townsend spoke of. I would like to ask what land base does Mr. Townsend hold.

    I can confirm Delores Vaughan’s statement that the Matinecock Nation has state recognition. They too at one time were a intrest of the gaming group, remember Far Rockway.

    I purpose you remove any adverse comments. and for once come together for the federal benefits that you all can share.

    If Mr. Osceola is a historian, then he must be aware that we touch one another, land base or not, card carring or not. Inter-relations happend.

    The opposition here is the Connecticut group, who maybe fearful of losing some of their patrons/profits..

    Shinnecock,Matinecock or Montaukett, put aside what’s keeping you from your federal recognition. and go forward as one group.

  6. Chelydra says:

    It would seem to me that the issue of federal recognition is being seen through the wrong end of the telescope. Isn’t the question whether the original nations should recognize the new one, and shouldn’t the new one be the one that has to prove its right to exist? It’s painful to see my nation (the new one) impose humiliating racial quotas and percentages on people who were here first, making them beg and compete for us to acknowledge their existence. All other nations are voluntary associations where citizenship depends on factors other than race, with few exceptions, such as Iceland and Israel — the Shinnecocks weren’t even asked whether they wanted to use racial criteria for citizenship! If this sounds like what the Apartheid government imposed on South African tribes, it’s because the Afrikaaners got their ideas from the US (and from the Nazis, who also got some of their own racial ideas from the US). Most painful of all, is to see the dialogue among local native peoples limited to inter-tribal squabbling and competing. Taker a cue from Nelson Mandela. Stand up. Stay strong. Keep your dignity. Hang on until victory is an option. Don’t submit. Don’t adopt the oppressors’ attitudes. Many people in the newer nation (USA) are counting on you to help make this continent a decent place.

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