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Shinnecocks discuss tribe's history, future

Randy King, chairman of the Tribal Trustees of

Randy King, chairman of the Tribal Trustees of the Shinnecock Nation stands in front of the Shinnecock flag at the start of the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2010) Credit: Charlie Archambault

Two of the three members of the Shinnecock Nation Board of Trustees, chairman Randy King, above, and board member Gerrod T. Smith, will talk about the tribe, its history and plans for the future at a forum Monday night in Hampton Bays.

The program, run by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Senior Center at 25 Ponquogue Ave.

“Very few people really know that much about the history of the Shinnecock Nation,” said League spokeswoman Arlene Hinkemeyer. “Many of us know someone who lives on the reservation, and are not familiar with their culture or government.”

The Shinnecock Tribe, with about 1,300 members, fought for more than 30 years to gain federal recognition, which was granted last year. The tribal reservation in Shinnecock Hills covers about 1,200 acres.

The recognition made the tribe eligible for federal funding for housing, health and education, and opened the door to allowing the tribe to open a casino. Potential casino sites, on Long Island and elsewhere, have been mentioned, and in July the tribe unveiled a tentative plan for a Belmont Park entertainment complex that would include a casino.

That proposal needs state, federal and local approval.



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