Shinnecock council asks a state court to dismiss a state lawsuit over billboards
The court battle over the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s use of electronic billboards on eastern Long Island drags on, but the tribe hopes the case will be dismissed soon.
The state of New York sued the Shinnecock tribe to force the removal of two electronic billboards in tribal territory along Sunrise Highway in the Hamptons.
Kelly Dennis, a member of the tribe’s Council of Trustees, said the council asked a state court last week to dismiss the case because the tribe has sovereignty over the land where the billboards are built.
“We have the right to develop it. And you cannot continue with this kind of form of economic genocide against us,” Dennis said.
Dennis said the billboards bring in much-needed revenue through advertisements at a time when many Shinnecock people are struggling with housing crises and food insecurity.
Tribal citizens and their supporters camped out near the billboards last November for a month to protest the state’s threats to tear the billboards down.