A Montaukett cemetery in East Hampton, New York. Photo: Americasroof

Montaukett Indian Nation denied a second time as governor vetoes recognition bill

The Montaukett Indian Nation has once again been denied recognition in the state of New York.

A02325 cleared the New York Legislature over the summer without any opposition. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) vetoed the bill on November 29, saying the tribe should not be recognized without a review of its history.

“Providing state recognition to an Indian tribe warrants thorough and careful consideration of all interested parties,” Cuomo said in a statement, Newsday reported. “However, this bill would require the state to bypass such analysis and recognize the Montaukett Indian tribe as an Indian nation without any process. Given that the state only recently received, and still continues to receive documentation that may impact its determination, it would be premature to act on this bill before the state can complete its review.”

Cuomo delivered a similar message in 2013 when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed the tribe to pursue recognition through an administrative process, much like the one used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But nothing has come of that effort, the tribe and its supporters have said.

“All you’ve got to do is turn on the news," Chief Robert Pharaoh told The East Hampton Star in reaction to the governor's veto. "This world is not for the poor. It’s all just a game.”

The tribe lost its status through a state court ruling in 1910. The ruling led to the loss of the tribe's land base on Long Island.

New York has long recognized other tribes, even those without formal federal recognition.

Read More on the Story:
Governor Vetoes Montaukett Recognition (The East Hampton Star December 7, 2017)
Governor Cuomo Again Vetoes Legislation To Recognize Montaukett Indian Tribe (The Southampton Press December 5, 2017)
LI’s first inhabitants’ lasting legacy (Newsday December 1, 2017)
Cuomo vetoes Montaukett Indian bill — again (Newsday November 30, 2017)
Montaukett Indian house stabilization unveils more of its history (Newsday November 29, 2017)

An Opinion:
Larry Penny: On the Governor's Montaukett Veto (The East Hampton Star December 5, 2017)

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