Shinnecock Nation ready to negotiate with state

With federal recognition on the horizon, the Shinnecock Nation is ready to negotiate with the state of New York over gaming rights.

The tribe makes no secret about its desire for a casino. A number of options are being considered, including a commercial casino.

"We trust that you will recognize that it's time for the state of New York to sit at the table with us and conclude earnest negotiations to ensure that our quest for economic justice is not delayed any longer<" tribal leaders said in a letter to Gov. David Paterson (D), Newsday reported.

The state, however, isn't ready to respond. "At this time, it is premature to discuss New York's position with respect to a possible casino for the Shinnecock Indian Nation," a spokesperson said.

As part of a court settlement, the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make a preliminary decision on the tribe's petition for recognition by December 15. A final decision will come in mid-2010.

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Shinnecock Nation moves closer to federal recognition (Newsday 5/28)