The Shinnecock Indian Nation cleared a major hurdle toward its goal of federal recognition on Tuesday when it entered into a settlement with the Interior Department that requires a preliminary ruling on its tribal status by the end of the year. Shinnecock leaders would like to run the first casino in downstate New York, and wrote to Gov. David A. Paterson on Tuesday, citing the settlement as an impetus to begin talks with the state on a range of issues.
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