Shinnecock Community Notes, April 22

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Hakamé. Greetings from Shinnecock.

Recently elected members of the Board of Trustees for 2010-2011, Randy King, chairman, Gordell Wright and Lance Gumbs, were inducted into office in a traditional ceremony on Tuesday. Each trustee spoke about what he hoped to accomplish during his term, and former Trustee Charles K. Smith II reminded us that the ceremony is meant not only to welcome the new trustees, but also to honor and thank each tribal member, young and old, past and present, for his or her contribution to our existence as Shinnecock people.

Charlie asked that we hold this honor in our hearts, that we may keep these good feelings toward one another strong and true because when the rest of the world fails us and “everything else is not around, all we have is each other and the only people that are going to take care of us, is us.” He went on to say, “No matter how many times we may disagree … we have to always remember that we are all connected … as one people … and we are there for each other, to take care of each other.”

It was humbling to be reminded of this reality. It is so basic, so essential, yet somehow the first thing we take for granted.

Several familiar Shinnecock faces were in the crowd at Brown University’s ninth annual Spring Thaw Powwow in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday, including the entire Hunter-Cuyjet family who came to honor their close and longtime friend Grace Bull Tail, the head lady dancer of the powwow. Much to our dismay, the festivities were again moved inside to the gym due to the forecast of rain, but we still had a good old time nonetheless!

While we were there, we got word of two powwows set to be held this Saturday, April 24, in the New England area, one at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the other at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

They sound tempting, but we’re sure that most of us will be staying home for the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum’s annual “Hoops for History” benefit at 7 p.m. at Southampton High School. The event promises an array of fun featuring traditional Native dance, plus dancing and music by Grupo Folklorico Xochipilli and the Kildare Academy of Irish Dance; a demonstration by the New York San Ten Traditional Karate Institute; and a raffle of assorted gift certificates, baskets and merchandise, ranging in value from $10 to $150, donated by more than 40 local merchants. In addition, a concession booth will offer hot dogs, Native American fry bread, fresh cotton candy, and more.

In the main event, the “East End All Stars,” a team drawn from the East End community, will challenge the Harlem MagicMasters in a wildly awesome evening of basketball tricks, slam-dunks and spontaneous laughs.

General admission is $12. Children, students and senior citizens pay $10; under age 5 get in for free. Call the museum at 287-4923 for advance tickets at discount prices.

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