A second, last-minute objection to the Shinnecock Indian Nation's long-awaited bid for federal recognition, this one filed by a splinter faction of the Montaukett Tribe, will put the Shinnecocks' status on hold until a judge reviews both claims.

The tribe would have celebrated its first full day of recognition Monday. A tribal spokeswoman declined to comment.

Last week, the Connecticut Coalition for Gaming Jobs filed an objection to the Shinnecocks' status, which had already been approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and awaited only a 30-day comment period to end. Saying the tribe's autonomy was compromised by an outside investor group planning to build a Shinnecock casino, the coalition said the recognition review by the BIA was flawed, and its approval would devastate Connecticut casino jobs and the economy.

In the second filing Monday, Robert Stevenson, a Cape May, N.J., resident who is one of three men who lay claim to the title of Montaukett chief, confirmed that his group filed its petition in the Shinnecock case. Officials at the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, which will review the claim, were not available Monday afternoon to discuss it, although people close to the Shinnecock tribe said they had been informed of the Montaukett filing.

Stevenson's claim, which had been anticipated, was challenged in letters last week filed with the Indian Appeals board by two other Montaukett leaders - Robert Pharaoh, who is Chief/Sachem of the Montaukett Nation, and Robert Cooper, who is chief of the Montaukett Tribe. Both groups have applied separately for federal recognition.

"I as rightful Chief/Sachem of the Montaukett Nation strongly object to this unwarranted interference with the Shinnecock federal recognition process," Pharaoh wrote in a letter last week. "I am in full support of any motion to immediately revoke the undeserved interested party status granted . . . to these individuals," referring to Stevenson's band.

Cooper's letter said the Montaukett petitioners "are not members of the Montaukett tribe" claiming they were removed from the rolls in a vote in 2005.

In an interview, Stevenson said his filing seeks recognition for all Native American tribes living on Long Island, from Orient and Montauk Points to the Queens-Canarsie line.

"We don't have anything against our native brothers," he said of the Shinnecocks. "We're trying to enlighten the Bureau of Indian Affairs as to the way it was before the Europeans arrived."

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