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Editorial: Shinnecock Nation right to file claim

"In 1703, the Town of Southampton leased 3,600 acres to the Shinnecocks for 1,000 years. But, in keeping with the perfidy of governments in dealing with indigenous people, that didn't even last 200 years. In 1859, to make way for the Long Island Rail Road, the State Legislature passed a bill giving control back to Southampton. The bill relied on a petition allegedly signed by 21 Shinnecocks, but the tribe quickly produced a second petition, calling the first a fraud. Nonetheless, the legislature went ahead.

Now the Shinnecocks are suing to get their land back, with financial help from a company with casino interests. The choice of funding is unfortunate, because it taints the claim with grubby commerce. But a Supreme Court decision in March in an Oneida land-claim case suggested to the Shinnecocks the danger of further delay. So the tribe is right to pursue its claim, even if its hope for a casino is among its motives. We wish the Shinnecocks well, but history shows that money, not land, is the likeliest remedy. We hope they invest it in a profitable venture, but not a casino."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Shinnecock casino: bad idea (Newsday 6/23)

Relevant Links:
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