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Shinnecocks prep for legal battle with Conn. group

The Shinnecock Indian Nation holds a powwow. (July

The Shinnecock Indian Nation holds a powwow. (July 8, 2007) Photo Credit: Newsday File / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

 The Shinnecock Indian Nation Thursday began mounting a legal defense against a Connecticut group attempting to derail the Southampton tribe's long-awaited federal recognition, calling the group "interlopers" whose claims were "unwarranted and unjustified."

A group called the Connecticut Coalition for Gaming Jobs said in its filing Thursday that it will object to a ruling by the Bureau of Indian Affairs granting the tribe recognized status because the tribe's financial backing by Gateway Casino Resorts of Detroit raises "significant questions about the independence" of the tribe.

READ: Mark Harrington's full story

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