Column: Shinnecock Nation nears a milestone
"It's not about a casino.

For the Shinnecock Nation, it was never about a casino. Or about lost lands.

It's not even about the nation's 30-year quest for federal recognition, which, under a stipulation agreement filed this week with the U.S. Interior and Justice departments, will be decided by Dec. 15.

Beverly Deer Jensen, a grandmother born and raised on the Shinnecock reservation, put it plainly. "We know who we are," she said Wednesday.

As such, she noted, it's essential that outsiders understand that the Shinnecock - like other Indian nations - take the long view on such matters.

"We are the human children of the goddess who descended from the sky," according to the Shinnecocks' creation story Jensen wrote for the nation's Web site."

Get the Story:
Joye Brown: Future of wary Shinnecock Nation depends on outsiders (Newsday 5/48)

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

Related Stories:
BIA agrees to decision on Shinnecock Nation (5/27)
Shinnecock Nation expects recognition decision (4/6)