The Montaukett Indian Nation -The Official Representation for Montaukett Descendants.
From before the historic Sachem Wyandanch to the present-day Sachem Robert P. Pharaoh, the Montaukett Indian Nation supported by our traditional lineal leadership has endured to survive European incursion, disease, war, subjugation, domestication, cultural decimation, racial discrimination, territory confiscation and judicial extermination.We are still here, healing the scars, preserving our traditions, our honor and our dignity, determined on our own terms to regain what was lost for the sake of our children and grandchildren – OUR NATION!
A Message to all Montaukett and our Supporters
The Montaukett was once the preeminent Native Nation on Long Island with the seat of our territory located in the town of Easthampton at Montauk Point. Unlike other existing Long Island Native Nations, the Montaukett territory was seized by the Easthampton trustees based on a treaty supposedly signed In the mid 17th century between Chief Wyandanch and English settler Lion Gardiner. In 1879 the Easthampton trustees sold our land at auction to land developer Arthur Benson for $150,000. For the next 35 years, the Montaukett, led by Chief Wyandank Pharaoh, fought unsuccessfully in the New York Courts to regain our territory. The tribe’s main argument was that both the 1777 New York constitution and the 1787 federal constitution expressly forbade the selling of Indian territory. In 1910, we made our final appeal to the New York Supreme Court in the case known as Pharaoh vs. Benson. With 75 Montauketts in attendance, the presiding judge Abel Blackmar ruled against the Montaukett declaring that treaties signed under a British King superceded both the NY and federal constitutions. Blackmar further ruled that in his opinion the Montaukett no longer existed because “It has disintegrated and been absorbed into the mass of citizens.” His declaration, which we consider judicial genocide, removed the standing of the Montaukett Nation as a sovereign entity, effectively eliminating the possibility of further court action in New York. It has been 102 years since this 1910 debacle. Now, we the Montaukett have redoubled our efforts to overturn Judge Blackmar’s ruling.
Chief Robert Wyandance Pharaoh is leading the effort to restore the Montaukett as a historical New York Native American Indian Nation. He is a direct descendant of Chief Wyandank Pharaoh who filed the original suit. He is also a direct descendant of the well-known Stephen “Talkhouse” Pharaoh. Last year we finally made a breakthrough thanks to NY Senator LaValle (R) and NY Assemblyman Thiele (I). They are the co-sponsors of a bill: A07420B (same as S 5894-B), which proposes to overturn the 1910 NY Supreme Court ruling and create a procedure for restoring the Montaukett as a historical NY State Indian nation. This bill has received wide support from the current NY legislators of all parties. It is currently being considered by the NY State the rules committee and will soon be eligible for a final Assembly vote.
We are asking all those who would support our cause to join in our effort to overturn a 102-year unconstitutional injustice by contacting the NY State government to support the passage of the Montaukett Recognition bill. We have nearly 1000 registered members, with several hundred still living in the New York area. Our Chief Robert Pharaoh wants to make it clear that the Montaukett do not entertain any “casino Indian” aspirations. Although he cannot speak for our cousin tribes, he has declared that Indian Gaming is incompatible with the Montaukett way. In addition, he recognizes that Montauk Point is now a historical settled town and he has no intentions of interfering with that community in any way. We consider ourselves the caretakers of land given by the Creator. As a recognized NY historical Indian nation, Chief Pharaoh pledges to add our voice to all ungoing environmental efforts aimed at preserving our beloved Long Island. Please visit our websites for further information about the Montaukett Indian Nation and please use the contact form above to contact our representatives directly.
If you have not done so already, please click the link below to sign our petition: Montaukett Recognition Petition
Please click this link to check status and read the actual law: NY A07420B / S 5894-B)