Thiele Bill to Reinstate State Recognition and Acknowledgement of the Montaukett Indian Nation Passes Both Houses of the Legislature

Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) today announced that legislation he sponsors with Senator Anthony H. Palumbo to reinstate state recognition and acknowledgement of the Montaukett Indian Nation, has unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature, (A.6919/ S.6721).

The Montaukett Indian Nation has a deep, culturally rich history on the East End of Long Island. The Nation was recognized by the State of New York until it was improperly removed by a 1910 State Supreme Court decision, Pharaoh v. Benson. Despite stark criticism from other courts, it has shamefully remained on the books for 113 years. 

The bill has been updated this year from previous bills, which were vetoed, to include legislative findings that declare that the legislation is a reinstatement to correct a historical wrong, not a new application for recognition.

Assemblyman Thiele stated, “The enactment of the "Unmarked Burial Site Protection Act”marks a new beginning between the Governor and all Indian Nations in the state. I am hopeful that we can build on that success and that the Governor will take a fresh look at this issue.It is time to finally correct this historical wrong by considering the facts and the law as they existed in 1910. The Montaukett Indian Nation deserves to regain their recognition and I am proud that the New York State Legislature has unanimously passed this long-overdue bill to correct such an historical injusticeI thank Senator Palumbo and my colleagues in both the Senate and the Assembly for their action and strongly urge Governor Hochul to finally reinstate the rights of the Montaukett Indian Nation."