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Land Acknowledgement

The Bridgehampton Museum is on what is traditionally Shinnecock and Montaukett's ancestral territory. For several thousand years before the first European colonists, the first known inhabitants of this area of Bridgehampton were what is known today as the aboriginal Montaukett & Shinnecock peoples, two of Long Island's original thirteen tribal communities. Shinnecock land once spanned present-day Riverhead to Sag Harbor, and Montaukett land began in Sag Harbor and spanned to Montauk Point.

This land acknowledgment is a reminder of the land dispossession and continual displacement of Indigenous peoples and our commitment to dismantling the ongoing effects of this colonial legacy.

The Montaukett, spelled a dozen ways in early records, was not a "tribal" name but a place name the colonists conferred upon them as they designated a "tribe." The meaning of Montaukett in William Wallace Tooker's Indian Place Names on Long Island is given as either the "high or hilly land" or the "fort country"– both of which appear to fit Montauk topography and the presence of two fortified places. Shinnecock is a word that translates to "People of the Stony Shore" and also refers to a homeland before it refers to a group of people.

The Shinnecock & Montaukett are members of the more prominent Algonkian language family and peoples who inhabited the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Canada to the Carolinas. They spoke a variant of the Mohegan-Pequot language across the Long Island Sound from them.

Shinnecock is a self-governing sovereign nation that received Federal Recognition in 2010 after more than 30 years of petitioning. Today, the Shinnecock retain 800 square acres of their original territory in Southampton, New York.

The Montaukett continue to pursue New York State and Federal recognition along with reclaiming their ancestral territory of Indian Fields in Montauk.

-Jeremy Dennis, Lead Artist & President of Ma's House & BIPOC Art Studio

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