Feds give preliminary OK to Shinnecock recognition
(AP) - The federal government has givenpreliminary approval to formally recognize the Shinnecock Indian Nation.
The decision late Tuesday is seen as a key step toward theShinnecock Indians eventually opening a casino.
Their leaders first tried to open a casino on tribal land inSouthampton in 2003. They were told they first need the Bureau ofIndian Affairs to formally recognize the Shinnecock as a tribebefore any talk about a casino could begin.
The preliminary approval sets off a series of hearings and areview that could bring final recognition by next spring.
Shinnecock leaders say they're willing to negotiate anappropriate site for a casino, either on Long Island or in theCatskills upstate. They did not immediately comment on the ruling.