Attorney: Kim Jerome Gottschalk, Staff Attorney
The Shinnecock Indian Nation, located on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, adjacent to Southampton, New York, with NARF’s assistance, filed a petition for federal acknowledgment on September 25, 1978. The Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA) eventually placed the Nation’s petition on the “Ready, Waiting for Active Consideration” list on September 15, 2003. On November 10, 2008, the OFA placed the Nation’s petition on active consideration. On December 15, 2009, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued a proposed finding to acknowledge the Nation. The Nation filed its response to the Proposed Finding on March 22, 2010. A favorable Final Determination was issued on June 10, 2010. On July 15, 2010 a group calling itself the Connecticut Coalition For Gaming Jobs filed a Notice of Request for Reconsideration and on July 19, 2010, a group calling itself the Montauk Tribe of Long Island, N.Y. filed a Notice of Request for Reconsideration with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA). The Tribe filed a response on August 24, 2010. The nation argued that neither requester was an interested party and even if they were, that they had failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence any grounds for vacating the Final Determination. The federal government filed a brief supporting the Nation’s argument that neither entity requesting reconsideration was an interested party. On October 1, 2010, the IBIA dismissed both reconsideration requests on the grounds that the requesters failed to demonstrate their status as interested parties. With this ruling, the Final Determination is effective immediately, thereby rendering the Nation the 565th federally recognized Tribe in the United States.
Read More: Preservation of Tribal Existence