Earth Day on Long Island - Preserve the Land and Native Burial Grounds

To Celebrate Earth Day WPKN 89.5, WPKM 88.7 and will broadcast this Earth Day Special April 23 at 12 Noon.

The program was recorded on Earth Day 2007 at Indian Island County Park and includes an update interview with Becky Genia of Shinnecock and the Inter-tribal Historic Preservation Task Force.

Here are some excerpts:

On Earth Day 2007 Shinnecock Elder Elizabeth Haile and native activist Becky Genia talked about preserving the earth and native remains and the heritage of Long Island's first people.

Here is that program followed by an update on preserving native and colonial era gravesites.

We spoke this week with Becky Genia who is a member of the Intertribal Historic Protection Task Force. The Task Force was formed after a mass burial grave was dug up as a result of excavation for a horse barn on Shelter Island five years ago.

In 2007 human remains were un-earthed during construction at Water Mill in Southampton Town. Money from the Community Preservation Fund has been set aside to purchase the land which has been known as the site of a native village.

New York is one of four states that have no law governing what should happen when ancient grave sites are discovered.

The Intertribal Historic Protection Task Force submitted draft ordinances to the five east end townships in February 2004. They have not been acted on except in Shelter Island where
"a watered down" version was adopted according to Ms. Genia.

Becky Genia asks that listeners tell their town board members to act on the grave protection ordinances and also suggests that they communicate with the east end's congressional Representative Tim Bishop who she says is sensitive to issues of land preservation.

Becky Genia of the Shinnecock Nation is a member of the Intertribal Historic Preservation Task Force. Elizabeth Thunder Bird Haile is a founder of the Shinnecock Cultural Center and Museum located at Montauk Highway and West Gate Road on the Shinnecock Reservation near
Southampton New York.