Shinnecock Community Notes



. Greetings from Shinnecock.

The holiday season is well upon us and most folks are running around trying to get their shopping done early. We hate waiting till the last minute, but between work and the abundance of holiday happenings that somehow take precedence, we lean toward the happenings.

A good solution would be to combine shopping and holiday festivities. That theory can be put to the test next weekend at the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum’s annual Winter Arts and Craft Festival. On December 13 and 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the museum will feature an array of handmade traditional and contemporary Native American jewelry, beadwork, hand-carved stone and antler and other traditional and contemporary works of art for sale.

In addition to a KidZone for children age 4 and up, complete with face painting, crafts, scavenger hunts, and other traditional games, Santa will pay a special visit and pose for photos.

And since no Native festival would be complete without a delectable feast, traditional Native foods will be available, including homemade samp, clam chowder, succotash, blueberry slump and fry bread.

The museum’s regular exhibits—a canoe, a wikkiup, and videos of Native American history and culture, among other things—will be on display as well. Admission to the festival is free. For more information, call 287-4923.

Trustee Gordell Wright was honored by Friends of Alternatives at a recognition breakfast held on November 14 at 75 Main restaurant in Southampton. Nominated by tribal member Aiyana Smith Williams, the Prevention Coordinator at Alternatives, Gordell was chosen for his outstanding leadership here on Shinnecock.

“Gordell is a person who leads by example and without prejudgment,” Aiyana said on Saturday.

Seven years ago it was Gordell’s vision to highlight tribal members who were living sober, upstanding lives by honoring them at an annual Sobriety Dinner—the evolution of this event is now known as the annual Nickomo-Harvest Feast, which was held earlier this fall.

A permanent fixture of the Young Blood drum group, singing at all minor and major events—including his own honor ceremony as shown above—Gordell has been instrumental in passing along this important tradition to our youth. In addition, he is an active member of the Men of Tradition, and an avid supporter of both the Shinnecock Youth Council’s Celebrate Native Health program and the Sons and Daughters of Tradition, for which he has been a key source of guidance since its inception.

A modest man, Gordell said he was proud to be honored, but would rather emphasize the importance of all Shinnecock youth programs, saying that they are “vital to the prosperity of our Nation.” He mentioned in particular the Wednesday night socials, hosted in part by Sons and Daughters of Tradition and the Shinnecock Nation Youth Council. “In addition to passing along our culture and traditions, the socials give our youth an outlet and teach them to be responsible, active members of the community, while putting an emphasis on being sober.”

We thank Gordell for his devout service to our Nation and encourage our youth to continue to look within our community for such sources of incentive and guidance.

In today’s day and age, when there are so many adverse influences and vices to tempt our youth to live a negative lifestyle, it’s easy to fall behind. And if our fallen make an attempt to rise and ask for a helping hand, we must take them seriously, as rejection is never the answer.

Times change and traditions must evolve; what worked yesterday may need a more determined approach to penetrate the chaos of today’s times. So even if it clashes with our ways, it is our duty to find a way to support one another in all challenges because as Shinnecocks, “Mamoweenene” (we move together).

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