Inter-Tribal Task Forces Addresses Preservation Of Sacred Places

June 16, 2008

Author: Andrea Aurichio

Source: Hamptons Online

The role of the Native American Indian, the indigenous inhabitants of Southampton and the entire North American continent, was poignantly illustrated at a meeting held Tuesday evening, June 10, in the Southampton High School Auditorium as members of the Shinnecock Nation, the Lakota Nation and the Unkechaug Nation gathered to discuss the preservation of their sacred burial sites in the face of ever encroaching development that disregards the cultural significance and importance of these revered places.

The program, composed of speakers from the Shinnecock Nation, the Lakota Nation and the Unkechaug Nation, was sponsored by the Inter-Tribal Historic Preservation Task Force (ITHPTF) as part of their on-going educational effort to gain more widespread support for the preservation of sacred places by heightening public awareness. The ITHPTF would like to see more legislation enacted that would help protect ancient burial grounds, sacred sites of worship and other places of note.

New York State is one of four remaining states in the country that have not enacted grave protection legislation according to Chief Harry B. Wallace of the Unkechaug Nation. "When remains are found, the first phone call is made to the police, who come onto the scene to make sure a homicide was not involved. Then their work is done. There are no procedures in place to protect the site," Wallace said.