Shinnecock Indian Nation, New York (state recognized)


A judge cleared the way for construction of 38 homes on 62 acres of land the Nation regards as sacred. The tribe, which says the land contains a burial ground, once controlled all the land on the east end of Long Island but has seen its realm dwindle in 300 years to an 800-acre reservation on prime waterfront property in Southampton. A temporary restraining order blocking construction on the site was lifted April 18, clearing the way for workers to resume site clearance. When workers first started to clear an entrance to the site in February, tribal members staged a sit-down and five individuals were arrested. A state Supreme Court Justice ruled he found no evidence of a burial ground and discounted the tribe's assertion Nation trustees had not been properly notified. He ruled the tribe waited too long to file its complaint on that issue. Tribal members indicated they would continue to picket the site and continue the protest. An appeal may be filed. The town board of Southampton has indicated it might be interested in buying the 62 acres for preservation. The board had yet to hear if developers would be interested in selling.