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Montaukett chief supports Shinnecock's push for recognition

Robert Pharaoh is the Montaukett Nation Chief and

Robert Pharaoh is the Montaukett Nation Chief and Grand Sachem. (Aug. 16, 2010) Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan

  A Long Island chief of the Montaukett Indian Nation Wednesday demanded that a lawyer for a rival leader cease his efforts to block the Shinnecock Nation's federal recognition using the Montaukett name or face legal action.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the attorney for a rival faction of Montauketts, Robert Pharaoh, whose ancestors led the Montaukett tribe for centuries, branded the effort by attorney Martin Seneca as "a stain on the honor of the Montaukett Nation."

Seneca, of Irving, N.Y., is the pro bono attorney for Robert Stevenson, a Cape May, N.J., leader of a faction of the Montaukett tribe that has filed an appeal with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs asking the agency to reconsider its decision granting federal recognition to the Shinnecock Nation. Stevenson's appeal has brought to a halt the Shinnecock's 32-year quest for federal recognition.

>> Read Mark Harrington's full story

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