Shinnecocks fighting to protect possible burial grounds

SOUTHAMPTON - Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation on the South Fork say nothing is more important to them than preserving their land, and they're fighting to make the Town of Southampton prevent construction on sacred grounds.Tribe members say they were told that there was a possible burial ground on a parcel of land in Southampton. Back in 2000, 35 luxury homes were built on the spot, and now the tribe members say they have no way of knowing if their ancestors' remains were disrupted.In 2005, the tribe asked town officials to ban development in areas where sacred burial ground might be located. The town refused, and the Shinnecocks say it's been an ongoing battle ever since.Town officials say they've asked the tribe to help develop a detailed map where grounds and artifacts could be buried. They say they've appointed a panel of American Indians, historians and archeologists to the handle the project.However, the Shinnecocks say they want stronger legislation, and not a map, to protect their sacred grounds.

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