. Greetings from Shinnecock.
Last Saturday at the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church, our little ones presented a staging of the Nativity story, complete with traditional Native drumming and dance. As in the Eastern Orthodox Church, we celebrate the Nativity on January 6, the date that marks when the Magi arrived with the gifts for baby Jesus. So there, in place of a manger stood a wickiup, and instead of three kings, there were three Sachems in traditional regalia with gifts of cedar, corn and wampum.
The play was organized this year by Viola Cause, Shavonne Smith and Mary Weeks along with special helpers Aiyana Smith-Williams and Lanette Weeks. As always, this annual event also included a kids talent show. There was gymnastics, trumpet playing, singing and stepping and all the children proved to be wonderful talents.
In addition, a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser raised some much needed funds for the church. Blessings to the cooks, Cheryl Franklin, Deborah Williams, Frances Coard and Patricia Patterson. Also, Frances and Patricia donated cakes along with Marguerite Smith and Tonya Hodges.
Plans are underway for our annual Shinnecock Nation Inter-Tribal Potluck Winter Social. Set to be held on Saturday, January 31, from 6 to 10 p.m., the festival will feature raffles, door prizes and, of course, dancing, drumming and singing. Shinnecock Young Bloods will be the host drum, but all drums are invited. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish.
In addition, we will also be holding tribal council elections that day. Voting begins at 10 a.m. and will end at 7 p.m. The results of the election will be tabulated and announced by the end of the social.
Meanwhile, nominations for candidates for Tribal Council were accepted starting on Monday. Those councilmembers leaving office are Paula Bess Collins, Eugene Cuffee, Leigh Franklin, Bertha “Cookie” Richard, Charles Smith and Nishwe Williams (who replaced Sienna Cuyjet), and Angela Coard (who replaced Andrew Cuffee).
To be considered for a seat, nominees must be an enrolled member of the tribe, at least 21 years of age, and a resident of the reservation no fewer than six months prior to elections. (The same goes for those voting.) Tribal councilmembers serve a two-year term, during which they meet twice monthly with the committee.
Tribal members can nominate up to three individuals, but it is advised that they check first to make sure their nominees are willing to run. Anyone who wishes to submit a name for nomination can still stop in at the Community Center either today or tomorrow between 5 and 7 p.m., or on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Please bring contact information for your nominee so the committee may follow up with them. Absentee ballots, for shut-in members only, may be requested by contacting a member of the Tribal Council Election Committee. Call the tribal office, 283-6143, for a listing.