Shinnecock Nation holds historic election
For the first time in over 200 years, the Shinnecock Nation of New York chose its leaders by a vote on the reservation.

The tribe has been recognized by New York since Colonial times. For every year since 1792, that meant elections for the Shinnecock board of trustees were held in the town of Southampton.

On April 3, that changed with an election held at the tribal community center. Randy King, was elected chairman of the board, and Frederick Bess and Lance Gumbs were elected as trustees.

'For over 200 years, it's been a colonial form of government imposed on us, which is a trustee system designed to monitor the activities of the tribe and to provide some type of control over us; so this is an act of breaking away and, hopefully, the first step of many that will encourage a return to a purely tribal cultural form of government,'' King told Indian Country Today.

The tribe plans further reforms in an effort to strengthen its sovereignty. Longer terms and the use of "trustee" system are being considered.

The tribe is waiting for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to issue an answer on its federal recognition.

Get the Story:
Shinnecocks assert right to determine political structure (Indian Country Today 4/16)
A Tradition Shunned, and a No-Show (The New York Times 4/15)
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Land Claim Court Decision:
Shinnecock Nation v. New York (November 28, 2006)

Federal Recognition Court Decision:
New York v. Shinnecock Nation (November 7, 2005)

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Shinnecock Nation - http://www.shinnecocknation.com

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