Governor Hochul Vetoes Legislation to Provide State Recognition and Acknowledgement of the Montaukett Indian Nation

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D–Sag Harbor) announced that his bill to grant recognition of the Montaukett Indian Tribe by the State of New York has been vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week.

The Montaukett Tribe is an Algonquian-speaking Native American culture with a long, culturally rich history on the East End of Long Island. In 1910, a New York court stripped the Montaukett Nation of its tribal lands and declared the Nation to be extinct. Nevertheless, the Montaukett Indian Nation is still alive and thriving, and deserves to be acknowledged by the State.

This is the fourth time this legislation has been vetoed. In 2013, Governor Cuomo vetoed a measure sponsored by Assemblyman Thiele that would have established criteria for considering the request of the Montauketts to be acknowledged by the State. In 2017, the Legislature passed legislation to provide State recognition and acknowledgement of the Montaukett Indians. The Governor went on to issue another veto claiming he had not completed his evaluation. Again in 2018, Governor Cuomo vetoed this initiative as the Department of State was still receiving supporting documentation from the interested groups. Now, in 2022, after being approved by both houses of the Legislature, Governor Hochul has decided to veto this bill again.

Assemblyman Thiele said, “The historic injustice done to the Montauketts when their very existence was denied by a state court over 100 years ago is obvious for all to see. The Governor had the opportunity to right this wrong once and for all and turned away. The failure to recognize the Montauketts will remain a stain on New York’s history and this Governor’s legacy until it is finally corrected”.