Palumbo and Thiele Pass Montaukett’s Recognition Bill in Final Days of 2024Legisaltive Session

Anthony H. Palumbo

June 7, 2024

Senator Palumbo on Passage of Montaukett's Legislation

Senator Palumbo on Passage of Montaukett's Legislation

            New York State Senator Anthony Palumbo (R,C-New Suffolk)  and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) today announced that their bi-partisan legislation (S.8550/A.9124) to give state recognition to the Montaukett Nation has passed both chambers of the State Legislature in the 2024 Legislative Session. 

            “The Montaukett recognition legislation has once again passed in both houses of the State Legislature, and with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Montauketts have gone to great lengths to satisfy the State’s requirements for recognition, and I am hopeful that the Governor will finally sign this legislation into law and reinstate the Nation's status that they should have never lost,” said Senator Anthony Palumbo.  “The Montauketts were recognized for years prior to the Pharoah case, and the enactment of this legislation will correct generations of injustice and provide the Montaukett Indian Nation with the status they deserve." 

            “We are again on the threshold of restoring state recognition to the Montaukett Indians, which was wrongfully removed from them more than a century ago in one of the most racist court decisions in the history of New York jurisprudence. It is now time for Governor Hochul to sign the legislation correcting this historic injustice.  It is never too late to do the right thing,” said Assemblyman Fred Thiele

            Key provisions of this legislation include - the reinstatement of state recognition and acknowledgement of the Montaukett Indian Nation; that the Montaukett Indian Nation shall have a chief or sachem, three tribal trustees and a tribal secretary; and language for the qualification of voters. 

           The Montaukett recognition legislation was first introduced in the 2013 Legislative Session and passed the Senate and the Assembly in 2013, 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023. However, the former Governor and Governor Hochul had subsequently vetoed each iteration, citing a need for the Department of State (DOS) to conduct the administrative process and make the final determination in defiance of a legislative precedent of granting Indian nation recognition.

Senator Palumbo’s floor remarks: