Page 20

DAN'S PAPERS, May 1, 2009 Page 19 www.danshamptons.com

Shinnecock Resurgence Not Since 15th C. has the Shinnecock Nation Been So Visible By Dan Rattiner The Shinnecock Indian Reservation is on the brink of receiving a preliminary announcement of federal recognition. Last week, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nedra Darling, said that a deadline has been set by the federal government to make an announcement one way or another about the recognition before November 10. So it can come at any time. Once that is announced, the wheels move quickly and final recognition follows in a matter of months. The reservation first made its application for federal recognition in 1977. Ten years ago, realizing that nothing was happening and

things were not likely to happen at The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for another generation, they began a vigorous campaign to get to the to the “front of the line” for the approval. It would be impossible for the Shinnecocks NOT to be recognized by the Federal government. The tribe has a long and well documented history, from the appearance of the first English settlers and the helping hand the Shinnecocks offered them — they taught them whaling, growing corn, how to build the early domed homes they lived in and how best to get through the cold winter. No shots were ever fired. It was a peaceful, neighborly welcome. The Shinnecocks since then have played an

important role in local history, mostly getting the short end of whatever stick was under consideration. Attempting a rescue of sailors aboard the four masted schooner Circassion that had wrecked on the rocks during a terrible winter ice storm in Mecox 100 years ago, dozens of young braves froze to death as the rescue went very wrong. By the 1950s, when I moved here as a teenager, the tribe, consisting of about 600 people, was suffering great poverty on its Southampton reservation, governed by Tribal Elders who kept their business separate and secret from the Southampton community. They (continued on next page)

HOMELESS AND HUNGRY IN SOUTHAMPTON By T.J. Clemente It’s a paradox — an issue that stirs passions and is as complex as so many of the problems facing the country today. But this one has one difference — it has a human face. A human Latino face. In recent weeks, photos have shown the “dwellings” of the homeless in Southampton up in the North Hampton Bays Woods, made of wooden loading dock skids and other refuse, while local publications report stories about the closing of a soup kitchen on the donated space of a private vendor. In all, it has drawn a lot of attention to the plight of the jobless poor on the East End.

The focus is on undocumented immigrants. All told, it is not a pretty picture, particularly when there are reports of children who have had no breakfast showing up daily at the Springs School without lunch money, or men waiting for cash day labor by the 7-11 in Southampton and begging for food money. It seemed like only yesterday that these men were demanding a minimum of $150 per day in cash to work on the projects all around the Hamptons, when the great expansion of wealth was white hot just two years ago. Now there is practically no work and the anger of some of the frustrated populace seems to be boiling

over, and aimed at these easy targets. “If they were starving dogs, everyone would be pitching in to help feed them and find them homes,” said one older man who then added, “But they don’t belong here.” And that seems to be the problem. As the saying goes, there’s no right way to do the wrong thing. When Mayor Mark Epley tried to address a human angle of the illegal day workers issue, protesters harassed him at his Southampton Village home. Epley sees the situation as tragic, but also as politically toxic. In Southampton there are protesters – reportedly (continued on page 22)

Dan's Papers May 1, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan's Papers May 1, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Advertisement