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Jul 19, 2010 9:51 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Connecticut casino employees file 11th-hour challenge to Shinnecock recognition

Jul 19, 2010 9:51 AM

Leaders of the Shinnecock Indian Nation reacted angrily to word that an upstart organization claiming to represent more than 18,000 casino employees in Connecticut has filed a legal appeal of the Shinnecocks’ recent official recognition by the federal government.

Shinnecock Tribal Trustee Lance Gumbs said he has been told by the tribe’s attorneys that the appeal suspends the tribe’s federal recognition status until the appeal is resolved by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. The appeal comes just four days before the last window of opportunity for any objections to the tribe’s new federal recognition was to close.

“It’s appalling and it’s a slap in the face,” Mr. Gumbs said Thursday. “This is a group trying to protect Connecticut’s interests—it has nothing to do with our status as a tribe. It’s a slap in the face to everybody in New York.”

Tribal Trustees Chairman Randy King was equally outraged.

“It’s unbelievable for them to come in ... at the 11th hour like this,” he said. “It’s an affront to our tribe’s heritage and everything we’ve done. Why didn’t they step up in December if they thought our application was so wrong?”

The Shinnecocks were given preliminary approval of their 32-year-old federal recognition application in December, after which there was a 60-day comment period for objections or appeals to be filed. Just one appeal was filed, a request by some members of the Montaukett tribe to be included in the Shinnecock application, and it was set aside by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

On June 19, the BIA issued its final determination, granting the Shinnecocks federal recognition, opening the door for the tribe to a host of federal aid programs and also to the world of casino gambling. With its federal recognition looming, the tribe had begun holding meetings with local governments, developers and property owners about potential sites for a future Shinnecock casino.

The tribe is scheduled to meet with a task force formed by the Suffolk County Legislature next Thursday to explore possible sites for a Shinnecock casino, which could bring a tax windfall for the county and whatever municipality hosts the development. Mr. Gumbs said that meeting might be postponed because of the appeal.

A financial feasibility report contracted for a previous tribe investor showed that a casino on Long Island had the potential to grow into a multibillion-dollar annual business and one of the largest casinos in the world. It would also pose a grave threat to the viability of the two mega-casinos already in operation in southern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, according to the appeal filed by the Connecticut group.

The group, which calls itself the Connecticut Coalition for Gaming Jobs, said the tribe’s business relationship with Gateway Casino Resorts, the Detroit casino development company that has spent millions of dollars on the tribe and its nine-year marathon of legal battles in exchange for a cut of future casino profits, compromises the independence of the tribe and should make them ineligible for federal recognition.

“It’s a totally unfounded claim,” said Mark Tilden, a Colorado attorney who worked on the Shinnecocks’ federal recognition application in recent years. “This is a speed bump in the road for the nation. We will respond to these interlopers quickly and vigorously.”

Mr. Gumbs said that the Shinnecocks have reached out to the two Connecticut tribes who operate casinos. He said the tribe has not heard from the leadership of the Mashantucket-Pequot tribe, which operates Foxwoods, but that the Mohegan nation, which operates Mohegan Sun, has denied having any connection to the appeal.

“Somebody has got to be backing them,” Mr. Gumbs said. “They just filed several hundred pages of documentation. That’s not something that happens overnight and without a lot of money behind it.”

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That's such a crock...just a bunch of wasted energy,it will be pretty obvious to any one who reads their hundreds of pages of drivel that its just all about them losing business...BOYCOTT CONNECTICUT!!
By Kaiser Sozay (31), east end on Jul 15, 10 4:49 PM
Casino or no casino the Shinnecock nation has the right to be recognized.
By Me101 (1), Riverhead on Jul 15, 10 5:02 PM
its all about the casino not recognition
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 29, 10 3:34 PM
If this ends up in court, it could take several years for the tribe to be recognized. Yes I agree, what a slap in the face for the Shinnecocks. One only has to have visited the Connecticut casinos in the past few years, to see it's now nothing like it was in their heyday. Problem is, there is probably plenty of money around to stall their recognition as long as possible.
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Jul 15, 10 5:23 PM
The gambling money issue has infected this recognition process IMO.

The Great Spirit has spoken.

Take the money off the table, and perhaps things might improve.

When one door closes, another opens. How about Shinnecock College as something to focus on (including Earth Sustainability issues)?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 15, 10 5:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
Losers, your days are numbered. This was a very poorly thought out move, the bad PR will haunt you for years to come. Like the Pequots didn't have any outside help in financing their recognition process. Instead of embracing and congratulating the Shinnecock, they stab them in the back.....FAIL!
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Jul 15, 10 5:51 PM
Wow, the comments here so far actually have been positive! I'm amazed and happy! :) I personally want to say thank you...it's nice to know there are people out there who may disagree with the casino, but realize the importance of federal recognition to the tribe. I'm sure there are others on the rez reading these comments who find this helpful.
By LMVT (56), Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Jul 15, 10 6:28 PM
3 members liked this comment
I think that it's a matter of ethics.

No matter how we disagree on the prospect of a casino, I can't fathom ANYONE agreeing about stabbing someone in the back.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 15, 10 7:16 PM
I am not an advocate of the casino proposal because I really don't think the highway structure can handle the influx of traffic. Long Island roadways already can't handle the traffic that travels them. However I do believe that the Shinnecocks deserve recgonition, they deserved it years ago. The fact that the CT nations are making the attempt to stop the Shinnecocks from getting recognition is in my opinion one of the lowest blows that they can do.
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Jul 16, 10 12:17 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By JackT, Southampton on Jul 15, 10 6:56 PM
I met Lance years back, when my family was providing services at the Pow-Wow. Though the show was most likely stressful on him, the one word that my first impression left in my mind was indignance. Indignant at the way his people have been treated, and indignant toward society.

In the society that has been created here in America, having a voice is the one right, and power, granted in the Constitution. The other power is the "Almighty Dollar". If you have enough money, you can get away ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 10 6:23 AM
I have to admit one this Miss Z you are consistent with you rants...Never forgetting to trash capitalism each and every time you open your left tilted mouth
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Jul 16, 10 6:35 PM
Alot of valid points here, and I have to say the one that struck me the most was the newcomer, about the "divide between the haves, and the have nots".

As someone that does not accept, or believe in the America deregulation of our economy has created, we're on the same page. I guess you appealed to my nature. "De pecuniae" segregation is alive and well on the East End of Long Island, and the casino very well could create a further divide.

There was this guy, Myron Cope, who announced ...more
Jul 15, 10 7:13 PM appended by Mr. Z
I mean, after all, hasn't Wall St. simply become a glorified casino, as it were?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 15, 10 7:13 PM
This is nothing more than a power play to protect CT's gambling money. I hope that when this crock of... well, you know, is resolved that Lance & Randy et al sue the snot out of the Pequots & Mohegans....
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jul 15, 10 8:52 PM
bill, I don't think that one's going to make it...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 15, 10 11:58 PM
let's not forget!
dump tim bishop!
By uncleronk (136), southold on Jul 16, 10 8:20 AM
Welcome to reality. Gumbs and the rest way outmatched when it comes to multi million dollar casino biz. This is only beginning of challenges for these folks. Big casino biz aint pretty. You think this is a slap in face? You are in for a rude awakening.
By tuckahoetrip (46), Water Mill on Jul 16, 10 9:41 AM
aahh just like the good old days. Centuries ago indian rival tribes fought each with bows and arrows now they are still fighting each other only over who has the right to rob all the people with gambling problems
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jul 16, 10 10:03 AM
UM... excuse me... but didn't we rob their land? kinda sorta? Lets be real about this - there's a law granting them the right to do this. Don't call them robbers for taking advantage of it
By littleplains (305), olde england on Jul 16, 10 11:51 PM
Excuse me but I have never robbed anyone. How many generations are going to hear that garbage thrown in the mix? I think Little Plains you should start making good by giving back any land that you may have legally bought but was stolen by previous generations... I owe no one a thing.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 9:35 PM
The last time I was at the CT casinos, they were practically empty. Certainly no where near the interest as when they first opened, so they should be worried over talk of a casino here. If we look far enough ahead, this may happen here as well (food for thought). However, their trying to stop the Shinnecock Nation from gaining recognition at this time is definitely foul play. The CT Nations also had to struggle against opposition. They had plenty of time to work with and help the Shinnecocks, ...more
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Jul 16, 10 10:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree. The last time I went to Foxwoods, crowds were sparce, machines rarely paid off and the "bonus points" were a tenth of what they used to be. They have money problems but by cheating their former loyal players they only hurt themselves. Let's go Shinnecock, lets get a casino going to help the local folk.
By hamptonsnrcit (47), sag harbor on Jul 16, 10 12:02 PM
1 member liked this comment

A financial feasibility report contracted for a previous tribe investor showed that a casino on Long Island had the potential to grow into a multibillion-dollar annual business and one of the largest casinos in the world.

"...grow into a multibillion-dollar annual business and ONE OF THE LARGEST CASINOS IN THE WORLD."

Now explain the impact to the "East End" Be it Calverton, Riverhead or god forbid Hampton Bays. Have you seen some ...more
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jul 16, 10 12:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
By littleplains (305), olde england on Jul 16, 10 11:53 PM
Great sweeping, generalized or stereotypical about American Indians or any other group, ethnic group or not, usually make you look like a moron. Have a nice day
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Jul 17, 10 10:25 AM
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Jul 17, 10 10:26 AM
Oh but it will respect the earth......maybe even be "green". What va joke, The only thing green is the dollar signs in their eyes.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 9:47 PM
Why does everyone assume that a casino is a done deal. Federal Recognition does not give them the right to have a casino. That spect must be wroked out with the state. If they plan on Nassau County, the state will not give it's approval because of their own facility at Aqueduct. The Southampton College campus would be an ideal location. The land belongs to the Shinnecocks anyway. Good access between either Montauk highway or County Rd. 39. There is even a LIRR trainstop. All those who oppose ...more
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jul 16, 10 2:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
You forget that the "weekenders" population diminishes in the off season.

With a casino right in town, that most likely would no longer occur...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 16, 10 5:48 PM
By ghost (29), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 4:47 PM
why dont connecut myob
By banjack (45), port jeff on Jul 16, 10 3:54 PM
Shinnecock College.

Shinnecock College.

Shinnecock College.

Earth Sustainability and Marine Science Institute.

The Great Spirit smiles on these possibilities IMO.

Gambling Money Poisons.

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 16, 10 4:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not for nothing, Mohegan sun gets over 11 visitors million a year!
That's over 200 thousand every weekend... 200 thousand! You think we have the resources to deal with those numbers? That just the tip of the iceberg. Are you paying attention...
"...grow into a multibillion-dollar annual business and ONE OF THE LARGEST CASINOS IN THE WORLD."
I'm just curious, who is denying the Shinnecocks a living? Lastly you live here (I assume) Do you drive around during the weekends? Let's ...more
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jul 16, 10 6:04 PM
I live 1 mile west of the college off of Montauk Highway. Have lived her for 50 years and see no problem with traffic on Montauk highwy. Sunrise Highway is another issue. The problem is over the past 30 years, trhe wealthy have come here and taken over our town. Now thay have the "Not In My Backyard" mentality! The Shinnecocks ought to be given the Southampton College campus if they will give up their rights to all the other ancestral lands they calim are theirs. Then they can have a college ...more
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jul 18, 10 12:59 PM
What a great idea,a casino at the college. Can't wait!
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Jul 16, 10 9:27 PM
They could always buid the casino on the existing reservation or in their land in Hampton Bays. No one could stop them since there are reservation lands. The State can only stop them if they want to build on non-reservation lands.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jul 18, 10 1:12 PM
derp derp derp did you read that in a book? derp
By ghost (29), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 4:50 PM
Classic exposition, I have also mentioned it in my blog article. But it is a pity that almost no friend discussed it with me.I am very happy to see your article.

air max nike
By nike-shoes (2), CITY on Jul 16, 10 10:30 PM
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 16, 10 11:01 PM
ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 16, 10 11:14 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 16, 10 11:14 PM
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 16, 10 11:15 PM
I think we get your point Cap !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jul 17, 10 12:53 PM
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 18, 10 10:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Time to boycott Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun if theyre involved.
By jim (48), hampton bays on Jul 17, 10 1:37 AM
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. i suggest you stay inside your home and at no time think about leaving and interacting with other lifeforms.
By ghost (29), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 4:45 PM
Go Shinnecocks!
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Jul 17, 10 12:49 PM
To repeat, The Great Spirit smiles on Shinnecock College and the Institute of Earth Sustainability and Marine Sciences.

Go in Peace.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 18, 10 3:46 PM
BOYCOTT Connecticut, especially its casinos!!! CT wants to keep making money from New York but will not allow Long Island to make its own money. Devilish, disgusting, greedy...
By mome (2), Plainview on Jul 18, 10 9:16 PM
did i mention its all about the Benjamins?
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 18, 10 10:42 PM
There's an old addage that I'd like to share.

"Any tool may be a weapon, but not every weapon, is a tool."

The sooner "Humanity" stops wielding money like a weapon in a manner which destroys our society, and begins to use it as a tool to build it, the sooner things may begin to change for the better.

"Sharing the planet, has never been one of Humanity's defining attributes."

- Patrick Stewart, as Professor Xavier
Jul 19, 10 8:41 AM appended by Mr. Z
The first one was from memory, I popped in the DVD, and here you go, exactly word for word: "By the way, it is an historical fact, sharing the world has NEVER been Humanity's defining attribute."
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 19, 10 8:41 AM
Is all about money...I bet CT politician=businesses are behind this!!!!

Also CT owns almost all the radio stations that we listen...AGAIN "NOT FAIR"

I hope our representatives do something!!
By Bel (86), southampton on Jul 19, 10 10:50 AM
maybe you should start a radio station? DERP.
By ghost (29), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 4:48 PM
"more music and les nessman"
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 20, 10 7:21 AM
Didnt I hear that Foxwoods is in trouble? The banks that hold billions in loans are calling in their notes and the Casino cant cough it up? So wheres the money? I dont gamble and I dont smoke so who cares .
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 9:45 PM
you do, you just made this comment.^^^
By ghost (29), hampton bays on Jul 19, 10 9:54 PM
As a Shinnecock woman, making a living in the white man's world I would like to say that you all have it wrong as most of American's do. Fed Rec is not about a Casino is about granting us our rightful place in a world that took so much from our people, put us on small reservations with nothing and told us GOOD LUCK! We can't get million dollar mortages to build homes, we can't get US Mail delivered to homes, We only just got Suffolk County Water installed less than 10years ago. This is only a few ...more
By NativeWoman (18), southampton on Jul 20, 10 9:22 AM
Small reservations? According to the United States Census Bureau, the Indian reservation has a total area of 1.3073 squar miles.

How many people live on the reservation? 504 at the 2000 census.

Waterfront property, right?

I think that those generations past also imported the people who inter-bred with the Shinnecok people, thus that means if not for the White man YOU would not be here either.
By HB90 (164), southampton on Jul 22, 10 11:31 PM
I just heard another appeal was filed. Anyone have any info on that?
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Jul 20, 10 1:05 PM
I just spent time in British Columbia [NW Canada] where a lot of Native Americans live and work. We were enlightened by our amazing fishing guides who were from different tribes but all refered to themselves as "1st Nation". I wanted to ask NativeWoman if she finds the term "Indian" offensive. I thought "1st Nation" seemed appropriate and respectful. I think we should all take a deeper look at history before commenting on this important issue. It's not always about the money.
By amyvaughan (1), sag harbor on Jul 20, 10 7:08 PM
New article with same headline +/-.


By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 21, 10 3:16 PM
I agree that this is just a speedbump for their approval bid. I just find it amazing how the politicians are so eager to help find a site for the casino. I can picture them talking with the Shinnecock's as dollar signs dance in their eyes.
By HB90 (164), southampton on Jul 22, 10 11:25 PM
Hello all! If you would like to support the federal recognition of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and stop Connecticut from monopolizing the gaming industry please join the New York Coalition for Shinnecock Gaming on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137819892904852&ref=ts.

Federal Recognition is about the protection of the Shinnecock from the ever encroaching rich land grabbers who would love to keep getting pieces of our reservation. It's about help to preserve our cultural ...more
By Takeynea (9), Southampton on Jul 24, 10 9:05 PM
Don't take this the wrong way, but alot of us middle class "white people" have the same problems with not being able to get a mortgage (too expensive because of "rich land grabbers"), no health benefits until I found a full time position (finally got them this month, been without for too long, and too scared a time to think about) , and I still make "too much money" anywhere else but here to qualify for government help from an educational standpoint, or otherwise.

Believe you me, the path ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 27, 10 8:07 PM
I read the many posts on this blog, many positive and a few negative. Unfortuneately we live in a country that makes laws and requirements that makes its, only true American. The Indian nation. Beg and grovel for the right to be reconized ,as to who they are by birth and heritage .. The Federal government has given the Shinnecocks the right to be , what they already are. Once again its the White-mans rules requirements, to live in the very same country that they took from the Only true Americans. ...more
By 1percent (52), Quogue on Jul 28, 10 7:55 PM
Geologically, and historically, there are those who would tell you that there is no such thing as a Native American.

Any human who resided in this Hemisphere, at any time in the History of this planet, did not evolve here, and emigrated from the Eastern Hemisphere.

"Indians" were the first immigrants to these shores, and misnomered from the get go by someone who didn't realize he only made it halfway around the world...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 29, 10 10:23 PM