Programs & Projects Economic Development Project


Cultural Enrichment is an intergenerational sharing and learning process that the Shinnecock Community has engaged in throughout the ages to assure that the the ideals and traditions of the Ancestors are passed down to the succeeding  generations.  Whether it involves sharing the knowledge of foods, clothing, arts, crafts, dance, or ceremony and language, it is an all inclusive process that enriches the lives of each generation.  Program objectives include conducting classes for skill building, working with tribal elders and leaders to develop resource materials related to tribal values, history and environment and work on the language reclamation program.


A major project under Shinnecock Cultural Enrichment Program is the Shinnecock Language Program.  The program is coordinating the efforts of tribal members and projects that have been working to bring the Shinnecock language back into use, to fulfill a vision of utilizing our language to remember and understand the thoughts of our ancestors, thereby reaffirming our cultural identity.  Extensive work involves research and comparison of resource materials, learning phonetics and grammar and data input. In August 2009, more than 12 participants received training from representatives of the computer program T.R.A.I.L.S. (Teaching, Restoring, and Archiving Indigenous Languages Software) that will assist with teaching on several learning levels.  Our mission is to establish a Shinnecock Language and Culture School, at a state of the art learning facility to include a resource library, access to technological systems and classroom immersion workshops and presentations with the common purpose of achieving fluency in the Shinnecock Language.


The primary goal of the Shinnecock Nation Youth Council (SNYC) is to fortify the youth of Shinnecock with the richness of their Eastern Woodland culture and all that is indigenous to the Shinnecock people.  -The SNYC has been in existence for eighteen years with its membership ranging in age from 13 – 23 and residing on or near the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. 
Throughout the years the names and faces have changed but the goals and objectives have remained constant…to empower our young people and groom them to make the transition from youth leadership to tribal leadership. The SNYC is an affiliate of UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) and attends the Mid-Year and National Conferences.  The SNYC was one of thirteen UNITY councils chosen to be the recipient of the Roberts Wood Johnson Foundation and UNITY grant, “Celebrate Native Health,” which was created to combat childhood obesity.  The youth spent four years successfully developing healthy lifestyle programs and activities for the community, and were named one of the top Councils in UNITY. Involvement in the Shinnecock Nation Youth Council helps the youth develop self-esteem and confidence through support and encouragement from their peers.  They also organize and conduct their own meetings using parliamentary procedure, plan fund raising events, perform community services and hold two non-voting seats on the Shinnecock Nation Tribal Council. 


The Young Men of Shinnecock (YMS) began with a dream of two young adult Shinnecock men who wanted to reach out to the younger generation between the ages of 16 and 21 and to provide them with meaningful experiences and positive role models for their lives. With the Board of Trustees encouragement and approval, funding was obtained for this exciting project, and YMS currently is anticipating a second year of project activities beginning in the summer of 2010. Based on a carefully developed curriculum, the co-directors of the Young Men of Shinnecock have implemented a month-by-month schedule of educational and motivational activities, culturally relevant trips, as well as daily basic learning skills, such as opening banking accounts, exploring job fairs, writing resumes and attending interviews. Community service also is an inherent YMS activity with special attention to the Elders of the Reservation. Fun and athletic/sports activities such as basketball games also is included in curriculum. Aimed at prevention and positive empowerment of at-risk Shinnecock young men, this project has had substantial success since its inception approximately two years ago. It has had direct impact on a number of young men, who otherwise may have entered phases of the criminal justice system, or worse. As positive evaluation of the success of YMS, three former participants now attend various colleges, seeking to enhance their futures through education. New age eligible participants will be encouraged to join YMS in the second year of operation.


The duty of the Shinnecock Warrior Society is to uphold and protect the integrity of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and its people as defined in the Statement of Purpose in the Shinnecock Indian Nation Constitution:
Under the guidance of the Creator, in honor of our ancestors, and for the future of our children, we are determined as the people of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, to live and govern with faith, respect, common sense and compassion. We are the caretakers of the land and waters that nourish and heal us; we learn and teach the values and traditions that have been passed down for generations…
It is the mission of the Shinnecock Warrior Society to preserve Shinnecock culture by bridging the gap between older and younger generations and reawakening an interest in our sacred ways by advancing exposure to cultural ceremonies and events. In order to fully restore our traditions we must heal the broken relationships among our people by showing compassion towards one another and honoring the bond we have as Shinnecock people. Then will the sharing of our traditions and cultural wisdoms flow more fluidly amongst our people.