In 1640 the Shinnecock people welcomed colonists to the shores of Long Island and soon expanded their skills of living on the land to fishing. Unfortunately, like many other Native American tribes, the Shinnecock had no immunity to diseases that came through colonizers and much of their tribe was decimated. It was not until 2010, after petitioning for thirty two years, that the Shinnecock Nation received Federal recognition. Over the years the struggle continues as the Shinnecock fight to protect their ancestral land and gain economic rights to provide for their people.
In the month of November, Native American Heritage Month, the Shinnecock along with their allies set up Sovereignty Camp for a month long occupation calling upon New York State to remove the roadblocks to their economic development.
The Shinnecock Nation is calling on New York State to drop its baseless lawsuit against their monument, to recognize and respect their trade and fishing rights and to pass the Graves Protection Act. Members of the CSJ Earth Matters committee visited the encampment to listen and ally with the Shinnecock. There is a commitment to write an open letter to Governor Cuomo and AG Latisha James to listen to the pleas of the Nation. In addition, the committee along with our CSJ JPIC office are calling and writing these state officials to head the call and demands of the Shinnecock. Information on how to join in these actions can be found here.
The Native American Showcase is offering streaming of the documentary Conscience Point. You will be able to access the film here to learn more of the Shinnecock struggle. This information and resources have been shared with Campus Ministers and teachers in our CSJ Sponsored High Schools.
The Sisters of St. Joseph Charism of unioning love has seized us all and we desire to use this gift for the life of the world and in this instance for the Shinnecock people who have lived on this land for centuries. Our spirituality of oneness moves us to love of God and neighbor without distinction. We are encouraged to learn more about the plight of our neighbors and take action on their behalf.