Shinnecock Nation expects phone call on federal recognition
Update: The BIA issued a final determination in favor of the Shinnecock Nation. The decision was made by acting principal deputy assistant secretary George Skibine, according to a press release.

The Shinnecock Nation of New York has been told to expect a phone call this morning from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe expects to receive a final decision on its federal recognition petition. A preliminary ruling found that the Shinnecock met all seven criteria for acknowledgment as an Indian tribe.

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 in 1978. The tribe completed its petition over 10 year ago but languished on the BIA's "ready" list.

To settle a court case, the BIA agreed to issue a proposed finding in December 2009. The final determination is now due.

Since 2000, the BIA has recognized just two tribes through its regulatory process. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts won recognition in May 2007.

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

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