Shinnecock Nation wins federal recognition ruling
The Shinnecock Nation of New York deserves federal recognition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said today.

The tribe met all seven criteria for recognition, the BIA said in a press release. "Those criteria include the following: that the Shinnecock has been continuously identified as an American Indian entity since 1900; has been a distinct community since historical times; has maintained political influence over its members; has a governing document describing its governance procedures and membership criteria; and has provided a list of its current members who descend from an historical Indian tribe and are not members of another federally recognized tribe," the BIA said.

The BIA noted that the tribe has occupied a state-recognized reservation since 1703. The tribe's political and governing system has remained intact since then, the BIA said.

The tribe was one of the first to start the federal recognition process. The tribe completed its petition over 10 year ago but has languished on the BIA's "ready" list.

The proposed finding was issued today to settle a court case. A final determination is due in mid-2010.

The decision was made by George Skibine, the acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the BIA. Assistant Secretary Larry EchoHawk is recused on the matter because the tribe has been represented by the Native American Rights Fund, an organization run by his brother, John.

Get the Story:
Shinnecock tribe's 30 year wait to end Tuesday (Newsday 12/15)
NY tribe awaits ruling that could yield casino (AP 12/15)

Recent Court Decision:
Shinnecock Nation v. Kempthorne (September 30, 2008)

Related Stories:
Shinnecock Nation awaits decision on federal status (12/9)
New York governor backs Shinnecock Nation (9/25)
Interview: Shinnecock Nation and federal recognition (06/12)
Economist: Recognition nears for Shinnecock Nation (6/11)
Connecticut tribes support Shinnecock recognition (6/5)
Shinnecock Nation meets with BIA over recognition (6/4)
Shinnecock Nation in DC to press for recognition (6/3)
Editorial: Shinnecock Nation recognition on horizon (6/1)
Blog: Shinnecock Nation eyes ultimate prize (6/1)
Shinnecock Nation open to several casino sites (5/29)
Column: Shinnecock Nation nears a milestone (5/28)
Shinnecock Nation ready to negotiate with state (5/28)
BIA agrees to decision on Shinnecock Nation (5/27)
Shinnecock Nation expects recognition decision (4/6)

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