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

Shinnecock Nation works on deal for golf tournament as some plan protests

The Shinnecock Nation is still working on a deal with the hosts of the U.S. Open, a popular golf tournament that is taking place on stolen tribal land in New York.

The tribe has played a role in the tournament in the past but details -- including participation in ceremonies and financial opportunities -- for this year's event are not yet final, according to news reports. Still, a deal could be announced in the coming days.

“Nothing is final until we see the preliminary agreements in writing,” tribal trustee Lance Gumbs told Newsday.

Whether or not an agreement is reached, a group called the Shinnecock Hills Protectors Demonstration plans to hold peaceful protests, The Southampton Press reported. Nichol Dennis-Banks, a former tribal trustee, is leading the effort.

“It is going to be a beautiful thing,” Dennis-Banks told East End Independent . “We are also going to be speaking on the injustices that are done to minorities as a whole, not just the Native American people."

The U.S. Open takes place June 11-17 at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. The facility was part of a land claim that was rejected in the federal courts without considering the actual merits.

"The Shinnecock Hills Golf-Club sits on stolen lands and bears our name yet the county, town and village choose to exclude us," Gumbs wrote earlier this month on Facebook after the first news reports surfaced about the breakdown in talks between the tribe and the United States Golf Association.

"It's a straight slap in the face to the Shinnecock Indian Nation at this point by the United States Golf Association officials and everyone involved in the planning process on the local level," he added.

The tribe, based on the far eastern end of Long Island, once controlled 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.

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

Read More on the Story:
Shinnecock Tribe Members Plan To Protest U.S. Open Over Lack Of Participation (The Southampton Press May 18, 2018)
Tribe To Protest at U.S. Open (The East End Independent May 29, 2018)
Shinnecock Indian Nation and U.S.G.A. Are Close to a Deal for the U.S. Open (The New York Times May 29, 2018)
USGA says it’s close to an agreement with Shinnecocks over Open

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