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Shinnecock To Protest Economic Oppression in Southampton

Shinnecock
Jay Shah
/
WSHU
Organizers say they want to shine a light on how the state and Southampton Town have blocked the tribe’s economic opportunities.";

Starting Sunday, members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation will begin a month-long protest near the tribe’s monument billboard in Southampton.  The monument has been the subject of ongoing litigation between the Shinnecock and the state of New York.

Organizers say they want to shine a light on how the state and Southampton Town have blocked the tribe’s economic opportunities.

Shinnecock member Tela Troge says the state should drop their lawsuit over the monument.

“The judge was quite clear that it’s unquestionable that that land is owned by Shinnecock and we have, we absolutely have the sovereign right to conduct economic development on that land,” Troge says.

The pandemic has worsened the tribe’s economic outlook. She says members are now struggling to provide basics like food and shelter. 

Organizers have demanded a meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the town of Southampton.

Shinnecock member Rebecca Genia says she is tired of centuries of oppression.

"We are not your slaves, your servants, anymore. We are the landlords of this country," Genia says, "You owe us a whole lot of back rent, you billionaires, who build your mansions on stolen land.”

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.