A Montaukett cemetery in East Hampton, New York. Photo: Americasroof
Federal Recognition

Montaukett Indian Nation waiting on governor to sign recognition bill

Lawmakers in New York have unanimously approved a bill to extend recognition to the Montaukett Indian Nation.

A02325 and S03006 passed in their respective chambers without opposition last month. Despite broad support for the tribe, Chief Robert Pharaoh doesn't think Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) will sign the measure into law.

“I’m not going to hold my breath,” Pharaoh told Newsday. “Call me when the governor has signed it because it’s not going to happen.”

In 2013, Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have allowed the tribe to pursue recognition through an administrative process, much like the one used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He instead said his administration would reach out to the tribe but that never happened, according to news reports.

The tribe lost its status through a state court ruling in 1910. The ruling led to the loss of the tribe's land base on Long Island.

New York has long recognized other tribes, even those without formal federal recognition.

Read More on the Story:
Montaukett chief doubtful Cuomo will sign bill recognizing tribe (Newsday 7/10)
Montauketts Clear Hurdle On Path To Recognition, Now Await Governor's Signature (The Southampton Press 6/27)
State Assembly Passes Bill To Make 'Extinct' Montauketts An Officially Recognized Tribe Again (The Southampton Press 6/23)
Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele Announce Legislative Approval of Montaukett Tribe Recognition Measure (LongIsland.Com 6/23)
LI pols renew effort to recognize Montaukett tribe (Newsday 6/16)

Related Stories:
Bills introduced to recognize Montaukett Nation in New York (May 29, 2014)
Montaukett Nation welcomes action on state recognition bill (June 14, 2013)