The Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York. Photo: Roger Rowlett

'Talks have broken down': Shinnecock Nation seeks role in golf tournament

The Shinnecock Nation is working to reach an agreement with the hosts of the U.S. Open, a popular golf tournament that is taking place on tribal territory in New York.

Tribal citizens told The New York Times that they were unhappy with a proposal sent in advance of this year's tournament, which takes place June 11-17 at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Lance A. Gumbs, one of the tribe's leaders, confirmed there was dissatisfaction.

“The talks have broken down at this point,” Gumbs told the paper.

In the past, the United States Golf Association has rented tribal land through contracts worth as much as $100,000, The Times reported. But that won't be happening this year, the paper said.

The organizers are trying to include the tribe in opening and closing ceremonies, the paper said. And they are looking for ways in which the event, which draws thousands of fans, can generate money for the Shinnecock community.

“We hope that we’ll be able to celebrate our championship together,” an official from the association told The Times.

The Shinnecock Nation is based on the far eastern end of Long Island. The tribe once owned a vast area of land but most of it, including the present-day golf course, was taken by the state of New York through illegal transactions.

Efforts to reclaim lost lands have been unsuccessful in the federal courts, which have refused to even consider such claims on the merits. The mere idea of being "disruptive" to non-Indians and local communities has meant death for tribal lawsuits.

The tribe now resides on a reservation of about 800 acres. Its federal status was acknowledged by the United States in 2010.

Read More on the Story:
U.S.G.A.’s Long Relationship With Shinnecock Indians Frays Ahead of U.S. Open (The New York Times May 16, 2018)

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