Shinnecock Indians protest development at unmarked graves and allege Southampton inaction

"Many of our ancestral graves have been desecrated and destroyed,” said Rebecca Hill-Genia

Rebecca Hill-Genia (Getty)
Rebecca Hill-Genia (Getty)

Members of the Shinnecock Indians rallied outside Southampton Town Hall this week over what they called delays in protecting unmarked burial grounds from real estate development.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Rebecca Hill-Genia, the tribe’s grave protection warrior, told Newsday — which first reported the story — that “many of our ancestral graves have been desecrated and destroyed.” Hill-Genia said the town hasn’t passed laws or “done what is right” to protect those sites.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who authored some of the bills to protect grave sites, said the town has recently delayed action because of the pandemic. But Hill-Genia said that there has been inaction for “decades” and presented Schneiderman with state legislation dating back to 2006 that addresses the issue. [Newsday] — Dennis Lynch