The fact of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ granting – after three decades – of federal status to the 1,300 members of the Shinnecock Nation was quickly overshadowed by speculation about the tribe’s casino intentions. Here‘s how Danny Hakim of the New York Times puts it:
With federal recognition, the tribe can build a casino on its 800-acre reservation in Southampton, N.Y., but the tribe, the state and local officials would prefer to find another location, in New York City or its suburbs, for the casino. That would mean plunging into a thicket of complex federal law, court rulings and political considerations.
Still, there are powerful motivations to help the tribe locate its casino anywhere but the Hamptons, where traffic is already choked by tourists in the summer. The state has been negotiating with the tribe in anticipation of the recognition.
The recognition becomes official after 30 days for public comment. The new status will let the tribe build a Class II casino with slots on its own land, but it would rather build a Class III casino with both slots and table games, elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Jed Morey of the Long Island Press takes New York state Sen. Craig Johnson to task, here, for his report recommending that the state revoke recognition of the should revoke its recognition of the Unkechaug Tribe. Except that Johnson called the tribe Poospatuck.
First of all, the tribe is Unkechaug. The reservation is Poospatuck. Second, not only is there no legal precedent for this ridiculous recommendation, there have been numerous opinions written by New York State itself declaring this idea (not the first attempt at this) unconstitutional.
This recommendation can only be classified in the following categories:
D) All of the above
Just for the record, Morey says the correct answer is “D.”