Today a group called “Warriors of the Sunrise” began what they are describing as a month long occupation of Shinnecock aboriginal lands in Southampton. The occupation is an effort to gain financial control over their ancestral lands. The area is just north of Sunrise Highway near the monument electronic billboard built by the Shinnecock Indian Nation. “Sovereignty Camp 2020” began with a ceremonial fire early Sunday morning. The group has set up camp in the wooded area and is adhering to all COVID safety guidelines.
The occupation comes with a list of demands by the group:
New York State:
- NYS must drop its baseless lawsuit against the Shinnecock Nation over its monument
- A meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Camp
- NYS must recognize and respect the Shinnecock Nation’s Trade and Fishing Rights
- NYS must pass the unmarked Grave Protection Laws
Town of Southampton:
- The Community Preservation Fund (CPF) must prioritize purchase of land in the Shinnecock Hills before any other purchases.
- The Town of Southampton must recognize and respect the Shinnecock land boundaries.
- The Town of Southampton represented by their elected Board of Trustees must meet in good faith with the selected members of the Shinnecock Nation to discuss real and tangible paths to restitution regarding illegal land sales and transfers.
Town of Southampton/New York State:
- The Town of Southampton and New York State must Recognize and Respect the rights of the Sovereign Shinnecock Nation to pursue any and all economic ventures and cease and desist their attempts and efforts to interfere with that right.
- Formally recognize and declare all Shinnecock territory as restricted fee land and “Indian Country” for all purposes.
- Engage with the Shinnecock Nation in litigation assistance against the State of New York for the theft of the Shinnecock Hills in 1859.
- Actively assist the Shinnecock Nation in acquiring trust land and reconcile racist 1930s policies against Shinnecock people due to the color of their skin and the texture of their hair that currently prevent Shinnecock from acquiring trust land.