Individual Paper. In addition to learning about your group’s region, each member will select a tribe in their assigned geographic area and remain with their tribe throughout the semester. The final research paper will be an extension of the presentations, telling the story of your tribe from its known history to the present. Cover history, culture, music, and contemporary issues affecting the tribe. You will need to supplement your written sources with information drawn directly from the tribe itself. Most tribes have a website that includes a tribal history written by the tribe (or at the very least with their input and approval). Websites will also include contact information for tribal members and/or cultural historians who might be willing to speak with you. Written sources in the form of books and articles by academics are good, but they seldom tell the story of your tribe from an inside perspective, a perspective valued in the fields of Native American and Indigenous Studies. Papers should be 4-5 pages (1000-1250 words). Use a minimum of four written sources in addition to information taken from an official tribal website or individual tribal member. Cite your sources using in-text citations or footnotes following the Chicago style or MLA citation formats. Please include a word count at the end of your paper, as well as the name of the classmate/s who reviewed your paper. The criteria for the papers includes: Quality of content/ideas: Range and depth of the ideas; quality of the original thought; evidence of tribal perspectives; appropriate awareness of opposing views when applicable. Organization: Effective title; clarity of the overall topic; logical and clear arrangement of the ideas; effective use of transitions; unity and coherence of the sections; good development of ideas through supporting details and evidence. Quality sources: Inclusion and citation of material from tribal and/or peer-reviewed sources and class discussions. Sentence structure and mechanics: Grammatically correct sentences; absence of comma splices, run-ons and fragments; absence of usage and grammatical errors; accurate spelling; careful proofreading. !!!By submitting this paper, you agree: (1) that you are submitting your paper to be used and stored as part of the SafeAssign™ services in accordance with the Blackboard Privacy Policy; (2) that your institution may use your paper in accordance with your institution's policies; and (3) that your use of SafeAssign will be without recourse against Blackboard Inc. and its affiliates.


The Shinnecock are American Indians who were recognized by the federal government of the United States in October 2010. The recognition of the group followed a period of 30 years of attempt to legally recognize the tribe as Native American . Historically, the tribe is associated with Algonquian-speaking ancient Americans, who based their existence on kinship. The tribe is located at the end of the eastern side of Long Island in New York, where they enjoy a cache of arable land and magnificent landscape. The tribe’s main headquarter is stationed on the shores of southeastern side of Suffolk County. Although their past has been coupled with challenges of land acquisition, the Shinnecock traditional land existed in the neighbourhood of Southampton town. Starting from 19th century, the ethnic group’s noble land came to be recognized as the Shinnecock Reservation, from where they enjoy the rich lands for various economic activities. Owing to the similar traits and culture they exhibit, the Shinnecock are believed to have genetic associations with the notable Narragansett and Pequot people who occupy parts of Southern New England .
Recognition and Reservations
After a period that saw conflict and lawsuit between the Shinnecock and the federal government, the Shinnecock were acknowledged as legal Native Americans by the department of interior. The issuance of the recognition by George Skibine who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Indian affairs on June 2010 marked a new life for the Shinnecock after living in fear and not sure of their ultimate fate as state recognition was concerned. The recognition established the Indian reservations as their legally recognized land base, from where they were allowed to carry on their cultural and economic activities for their growth. The land, a wide area that has defined borders, is an autonomous reservation under the Shinnecock tribal council. The reservation is situated approximately five kilometres from the west side of the village of Southampton in New York. The tribal council has the power of the reservation, contrary to other jurisdiction which is controlled by local and federal governments. The reservation’s administration is seen as owing allegiance to the culture of the people of Shinnecock.
The Shinnecock belonged to the famous thirteen Bands in Indian ethnic history which were situated on Long Island. The ethnic group was named on the basis of its topographical locations and settlement. While at Long Island, the group’s native life was characterized by connections of various villages and kinship ties. However, upon the intrusion of the Europeans during the colonial period, the group’s pattern of relationships was eroded in which the self-governing villages became extinct. Their social and political roots trace back to the influential Algonquian ethnic groups which existed across Long Island in southern parts of a New England. Due to their interaction and interrelationship with their neighbours, the Montaukett, it has been established that the Shinnecock communicated a dialect of Mohegan-Pequot-Montauk. Similarly, it is believed that the two ethnic groups intermingled and intermarried. The groups that lived in the west of Long Island consisted of the Matinecock and Patchogue, who was commonly referred to as the Delaware. The group also spoke Delaware-Munsee dialect as a derivative language from the vast Algonquian languages if the American Indians. The bands exhibited similar traits and shared cultures with members of other groups, who together have a common ancestry.
Cultural Practices
The Shinnecock ethnic group designed beads made from shell, which were then stitched onto threads. The heads, which were commonly referred to as wampum, were used as a measure of property worth and currency. The beads, however, served various purposes according to the beliefs and practices of the ethnic outfit. Among the purposes included decorations, and as an allegory that represented a family unit. This practice was widespread to other band groups who resided in Long Island. Today, there have been several discoveries made on the existence of the beads during the ancient period as a symbol of trade that existed among the Shinnecock group. The group also gained a reputation among Native American people since it is said that it made the best wampum. Because of this, the long island is said to have been dubbed palmanac, a name that alludes to magnificent purple shells that the group used to make beads. Among the pioneer groups that discovered the value of the beads were the Europeans, who established the value of the artefact as they observed the way of trading between the community and other ethnic groups. Due to the immense value of the beads, it is reported that there were frequent raids conducted on Shinnecock ethnic group by other tribes . Among their economic rivals who exposed them to incursions during that period was the Pequot.
Following the invasion of the Europeans into Native American lands, the Shinnecock suffered from various issues caused by the colonial rule. Just like other Native Americans, the Shinnecock were infected with deadly diseases by the Europeans. Unfortunately, they did not have a remedy and proper herbs to cure the diseases. Therefore, it is reported that this led to the massive decline of their population on Long Island. Smallpox, among the deadliest disease that ailed them, is reported to have killed almost two-thirds of the American Indians living in the period of a mid-16th century.
At the reservation, the Long Island is bordered by a water body that has served the Shinnecock people. Due to the surrounding water, the Shinnecock are described to have been doing fishing as their means of livelihood. Also, the group developed into experienced sailors due to their frequency in operating traditional water vessels for transport. However, with the coming of the Europeans, the Shinnecock were introduced to boats, thereby replacing canoes and other locally-made vessels. Apart from fishing, the group was known for farming their arable lands and hunting animals for food and skin for making artefacts. The group is believed to have lived in dome-shaped houses which were small in size, and made from animal skins, which was obtained from hunting. The houses were supported by poles, which were cut from the forest by use of locally made tools and sharpened by special rocks. In order to keep off threats from animals, Shinnecock group of warriors made arrows, spears and clubs for defence. The Shinnecock has continuously participated in traditional Algonquian songs and dances to keep their ideas alive. Every year, they mark their culture by singing the songs, beating drums, and performing rituals as they travel traverse through northeast parts of their reservation. During this time, they share knowledge about their cultural journey on arts, dances, attire and even language. However, today, all of them speak English.
Today, the Shinnecock group has over 1200 registered members in the United States. The group holds annual powwow in celebrating their culture, an event that sees a great number of tourists. The Shinnecock of today has a cultural centre and museum that is open to members of the public. The museum exhibits historical artefacts that the group used in its relationship with other ethnic outfits. In 2005, the tribe’s leadership filed a lawsuit against New York on claims that it illegally possessed their land that was equivalent to 3,500 acres. In the lawsuit, the tribe sought the return of the land and monetary reparation of damages witnessed as a result of imperialist rule and consequent land grabbing. Additionally, in 2007, the Shinnecock requested to build a casino in their reservation, but the proposal has not yet been approved .

Laudin, Harvey, The Shinnecock Indians: A Cultural History Readings in Long Island Archaeology and Ethnohistory. Lexington: Ginn, 1983.
Stone, Gaynell, ed. The Shinnecock Indians: A Culture History, Washington DC. 1983.
Strong, John A. Shinnecock and Montauk Whalemen. The Long Island Historical Journal, 2(1) 29-40.
Swanton, John. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1952