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Historian refutes tribal land claims

5 December 2006

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Connecticut Newsday: "A Connecticut historian who has refuted American Indian land claims across the country testified Monday in federal court that the Shinnecock Nation has no right to build on a parcel of land in Southampton that the tribe is eyeing for a casino.

"Freelance historian James Patrick Lynch said the 79 acres, known as the Westwood property, were legally handed over by the Shinnecocks as part of a 1659 restitution agreement for arson crimes committed by a few tribal members. Lynch said the land was signed over then by tribal leader Wyandanch, a Montauk.

"…But the Shinnecocks' lawyer, Christopher Lunding of Manhattan, said he will call a Yale University historian who will show that the original land purchase from the tribe was invalid. Lunding said land purchases from American Indians were prohibited by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut, which had authority over that part of Long Island at the time…"

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