Shinnecock Indian Nation
|1,292 enrolled members|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States (Long Island)|
|English, formerly Algonquian,|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Shinnecock Indian Nation is a federally recognized tribe of Shinnecock people, an Algonquian people from Long Island. The tribe is headquartered in Suffolk County, New York, on the south shore of Long Island. The tribe's landbase is the Shinnecock Reservation within the geographic boundaries of Southampton on the east end of Long Island.
The Shinnecock were recognized by the United States government in June 2010 after a 30-year court battle. The Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, George T. Skibine issued the final determination of the tribe's recognized status on June 13, 2010.
The Shinnecock Indian Reservation is a self-governing reservation. By 1859, the current borders of 800 acres (3.2 km2) were established. Every Labor Day Weekend the reservation hosts a powwow. The Shinnecock powwow has been held annually since 1946. Ceremonies have been held since 1912 that have evolved into the powwow held today.  The Shinnecock Powwow is considered one of the great ten American powwows. In 2008 there were 50,000 visitors to the powwow. In 1972 the Shinnecock Native American Cultural Coalition (SNACC) was formed to establish a Native American arts and crafts program. Traditional dancing, beadwork, Native American crafts and music are studied. A group called The Youngblood Singers was formed. Dedicated to learning traditional Algonquin songs, chants, and drum rituals, they travel throughout the Northeast performing at powwows and drum contests.The Cultural Enrichment Program is a sharing and learning process that the community has engaged in to assure that the ideals and traditions of their ancestors are passed down through the generations. It involves sharing knowledge of food, clothing, arts, crafts, dance, ceremonies, and language. The reservation has a museum, shellfish hatchery, education center, community center, playground, and Presbyterian church. The reservation is three miles (5 km) west of Southampton, New York. In 1903, it had a population of 150. In 2012 the Shinnecock Nation consists of over 1,400 people and more than half of them reside on the reservation.  Thunder Island Coffee Roasters is a Native American owned and operated business located on the Shinnecock reservation. The coffee is roasted by Ben Haile, the owner, and they ship whole bean and ground organically grown coffee throughout the United States.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
The Shinnecock are believed to have spoken a dialect of Mohegan-Pequot-Montauk, similar to their neighbors the Montaukett on Long Island. Their western neighbors were Lenape people who most likely spoke an R-dialect of Munsee. The languages became extinct sometime in the mid-19th century, as numbers of native speakers were drastically reduced. A few words have survived to the modern day.
Like the other Native peoples of Long Island, the Shinnecock made wampompeag (wampum), shell beads strung onto threads that were used as currency, for record-keeping, and for aesthetic purposes. These shell beads have been found at inhabited sites as far west as the Rocky Mountains, showing their value in trade. Although other New England tribes produced wampompeag, the Indians of Long Island are reputed to have made the best. The tribe was subject to raids by the Pequot and other New England tribes to control this valuable trade commodity. The Europeans quickly learned the value of the Shinnecock wampompeag in trade with other tribes.
Indian populations declined due mostly to new infectious diseases carried by European colonists. In addition, their communities were disrupted by land encroachment by Dutch, and later English colonists. Many Shinnecock joined the Brothertown Indians in New York and lost their distrinct community identity. Others intermarried with local colonists.
In 1703, a leasehold was established for tribal members in Southampton. In 1792, the state of New York passed a law reorganizing the Shinnecock Indian Tribe as a trusteeship. The law also established annual elections for three tribal trustees, which have continued from 1792 to the present. In the Fall of 2010 the Shinnecock gained a national reservation. For over two centuries, the trustees have managed the tribe's land and resources.
At the start of the 20th century, the Shinnecock were described as "daring seamen," and "furnishin[ing] efficient recruits to the United States Life Saving Service." In December 1876, ten Shinnecock men died while trying to save a ship stranded off East Hampton. The tribe is famous in local lore for their heroic efforts. Through the 19th century, Shinnecock men were fishermen and sailors on whaling ships.
Land claims dispute
In 2005 the nation filed a lawsuit against the state seeking the return of 3,500 acres (14 km²) in Southampton, New York, around the tribe’s reservation and billions of dollars in reparations. The disputed property includes the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which Native American representatives say is the location of tribe burial grounds.
The core of the lawsuit is over a 1703 deal between Southampton and the tribe for a 1,000-year lease. The suit charges that a group of powerful investors conspired to break the lease in 1859 by sending the state Legislature a fraudulent petition from a number of Shinnecock tribesmen. Although other tribal members immediately protested that the petition was a forgery, the Legislature approved the sale of 3,500 acres (14 km²) of former tribal land.
The tribe has proposed building casinos in the past, but none has been established yet.
- Darling, Nedra. "Skibine Issues a Final Determination to Acknowledge the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, NY. Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. 15 June 2010 (retrieved 12 July 2010)
- Hakim, Danny (June 15, 2010). "U.S. Recognizes an Indian Tribe on Long Island, Clearing the Way for a Casino". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Hakim, Danny (December 15, 2009). "U.S. Eases Way to Recognition for Shinnecock". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- Laudin, HarveyG. (1983). The Shinnecock Indians: A Cultural History Readings in Long Island Archaeology and Ethnohistory. Lexington: Ginn. ISBN 1-55787-152-3.
- "Shinnecock Powwow recommended by USA TODAY as One of America's Great 10 Powwows". USA TODAY. Apr. 2011. Retrieved Dec. 2012.
- "Shinnecock Powwow draws 50,000 visitors". Newsday. 31 Aug. 2008.
- Strong, John A. (1998). We Are Still Here! The Algonquin Peoples of Long Island Today. Interlaken: Heart of the Lakes. ISBN 1-55787-152-3.
- "Shinnecock Indian Nation". Retrieved 3 Dec. 2012.
- Shinnecock Indian Reservation." Parrish Art Museum. (retrieved 12 July 2010)
- "Shinnecock Indian Nation". Retrieved Dec. 2012.
- "Shinnecock Indian Tribe History." Access Genealogy. (retrieved 12 July 2010)
- "Thunder Island Coffee Roasters". Retrieved 3 Dec. 2012.
- Gilman, Daniel Coit; Peck, Harry Thurston; Colby, Frank Moore (1906). The New International Encyclopaedia 18. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 88. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Rattiner, Dan (January 15, 2010). "The Circassian: The 19th Century Shipwreck That Devastated the Shinnecock Tribe". Dan's Papers. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Metoac History". dickshovel.com. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Landes, Jennifer (October 18, 2007). "Tribe Bids for Casino". The East Hampton Star. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145. Washington DC.: Government Printing Office, 1952.
- Hodge, Frederick W. Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, DC.: Government Printing Press, 1910.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shinnecock Indian Nation.|
- Shinnecock Indian Nation, official web site
- "Shinnecock", Handbook of North American Indians, on Access Genealogy
- U.S. Recognizes Long Island Tribe, The New York Times, 15 June 2010