|Government||Council of Trustees||Council of Elders||Tribal Departments|
Tribal Office: 631-283-6143. The Shinnecock Nation Tribal Office is the central office for all tribal business.
The Communication Director works in conjunction with the Nation’s Board of Trustees, the Nation’s public relations, legal, and other professional teams to define strategies and issue statements that put forth the official views, opinions and positions of the Shinnecock Tribal government, and that ‘speak’ to the outside world in the ‘voice’ of the Shinnecock Nation. The Communications Director is also editor of and a contributing writer to the Shinnecock monthly tribal newsletter, Voice of the Nation. Shinnecock Nation Communications Office, P.O. Box 5006, Southampton, New York 11969 * 631-204-9301/631-745-9176.
Enrollment and Vital Records Office
The Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Enrollment and Vital Records Office emanates from the original Federal Recognition Office with significant responsibility for research and documentation of the basic Tribal Rolls. This office was crucial to the development and petition for federal recognition status of the Shinnecock Indian Nation based on completeness of over 1,000 individual Tribal Member historical linkages, as required by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior. With focus of this entity now more specifically on enrollment of qualified individuals, the important work continues as the crux of eligibility and entitlement to Tribal services and programs.
Financial and Accounting Office
Research and Development Office/Grants
This entity evolves from grant writing activities for the Shinnecock Indian Nation back to 2004 to a comprehensive Grants, Research and Development Team, consisting of Shinnecock Tribal Members who engage in all aspects of grant writing for the Nation. Important projects / programs have been initiated through philanthropic development of funding relationships with a number of local and private foundations throughout New York State, as well as the Administration of Native Americans, DHHS and the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program, HUD.
Education Indian Education Program/After School Program
Up until 1950, the education of the Shinnecock child took place in a one room schoolhouse with two teachers serving all grades up to the seventh. Built in the 1800s, and without electricity or running water. the school educated generations up until it was closed and the Shinnecock children bused to school in Southampton. Now a reverse of sorts is taking place. The bus from Southampton brings the Shinnecock children to their own after school program for tutoring and homework supervision, academic achievement and cultural enrichment activities in a high tech learning environment with snacks. While much more needs to be done, today, the education of the Shinnecock Indian is light years in advancement over the old Shinnecock school system.
Early Learning / Day Care Center
The concept of an Early Learning / Day Care Center began with a grant from the Gerald and Janet Carrus Foundation in 2005 based on a visit from Janet Carrus to the Reservation. AS private foundation located in New York State, the Carrus Foundation provided the initial funding for this entity, long needed bay the children and families of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. From 2005 to the present, a number of small but progressively important grants were applied for and received, including a vital planning project that established a time line and Steering Committee to guide the development and implementation of the Center. In 2009, the Shinnecock Indian Nation applied for infrastructure funding from the Indian Community Development Block Grant program at HUD and received full funding, as requested for this project. While not formally a federally recognized tribe at the time of application, the Nation satisfied eligibility requirements for this federal program due to proof of involvement in the 1980’s of a Federal Revenue Sharing Program of the Federal Government. Currently this project is in the formative stages of recruitment of administrative staff and contractor utilizing Indian Preference as mandated by HUD. It is anticipated that construction will commence late summer to early fall of this year, following compliance with environmental review procedures.
Health Shinnecock Indian Health and Dental Services
The opening of the Health Clinic in 1993 was an amazing event. Not since the age of the pauwaus (medicine people) and plant healers had Shinnecock people been able to get treatment for illness and health conditions on their own land. Now tribal members receive acute care visits, physical examinations, immunizations, prenatal and gynecological services and home visits through the auspices of New York State and American Indian Health. A dental wing opened in January of 2002 making the Health Center one of busiest places on the Reservation. While there are still no full time health and dental professionals on staff, healthcare for the Shinnecock people has improved drastically.
Community Health Worker Program
Under the umbrella of the Health Center, the Community Health Worker Program, funded by the State of New York, provides health services for pregnant women. The program often goes outside its objectives and provides other services, such as tradition-based training of young women on self care, building self-esteem and healthy relationships and creating support systems.
At the Senior Nutrition Program, hot lunches for Shinnecock senior citizens are provided by the Suffolk County Office of the Aging and are served daily during the week. Homebound seniors have their meals delivered. Founded in 1975, this program continues to provide an enlightened life style for the seniors of this indigenous community in addition to the surrounding community. The Shinnecock Senior Nutrition Program is located at the Shinnecock Family Preservation Center and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is the desire of the program to reach all seniors who are at nutritional risk, frail and have social and economic needs. The principle purpose is to provide daily nutritious meals both for the congregate and home bound, all support services include transportation, information, referral, nutrition education, health and welfare, counseling, shopping, recreation activities, telephone reassurance, plus information resources for the elderly. The organization is a non-profit corporation under IRC 501c (3).
The Shinnecock Environmental Division currently has a work plan that with the expertise of consultants, support of the Natural Resource Committee and participation of tribal members will begin to create environmentally centered and culturally viable programs for the preservation of the Nation’s land base, health, and environment. The current work plan includes, but is not limited to environmental planning and assessment, educational workshops, solid waste management plan, water quality, air quality, and an environmental regulatory framework.
Shinnecock Shellfish Hatcheries
Back in the 1980’s, the Shinnecock Indian Nation ran a Tribally owned and operated shellfish hatchery which was successful for approximately 10 years, until much of Long Island was adversely affected by the Brown Tide that devastated much of the shellfish industry on the Island. The building from which this Tribal economic development project ran also was one of the first solar paneled buildings on Long Island and was noted for its high-energy efficiency. In the summer of 2004, a small group of determined Shinnecock Tribal Members decided it was time to reassess and evaluate the possibility of beginning a new shellfish hatchery based on re-seeding of the Shinnecock Bay with oyster spawn. With initial funding from the Long Island Community Foundation, and later on the Horace Hagedorn Foundation, Kraft Environmental Family Fund and finally, the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) DHHS, Washington, D.C., the Hatchery was re-born. Today, the Bay has produced thousands of succulent and healthy oysters as well as clams and other shellfish. With pending funding requests, there is a lucrative market for the Shinnecock shellfish whereby once re-established and operational will provide the Nation with a self-sustaining and culturally relevant source of Tribal income. In addition to being a source of economic development, the Hatchery will contain an environmental component of educating Shinnecock and non-Native students alike to the important field of aquaculture and related sciences.
The Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Security consists of a Chief and Security / Patrol staff of 10 Tribal Members with the Chief reporting directly to the Board of Trustees of the Nation. Hours of operation are from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
As the Nation moves forward to full Federal Recognition status, it is anticipated that the Tribal Security entity will receive more advanced training and may be the precursor to a formal Tribal Police Force.