I am writing in response to the article “Shinnecock Officials Take Bloomberg To Task Over Critical Comments Made at Forum” [27east.com, March 2]. I find it disturbing for one person, namely, Mike Bloomberg, to judge the entire Shinnecock Indian Nation.
In my 88 years, as a lifelong Shinnecock Indian Reservation resident, I don’t remember Mr. Bloomberg ever visiting our ancestral homeland.
My deceased husband, Chief Eagle Eye, Avery Dennis Sr., was the last-named chief of the Shinnecock Nation before our government structure transitioned to a seven-member Council of Trustees board. He started an Alcoholics Anonymous group on the Shinnecock Reservation about 35 years ago at our Shinnecock Presbyterian Church. We continue his vision by welcoming anyone who has a sickness with alcohol and/or drug addiction.
Our membership includes nuns, billionaires, politicians, lawyers, doctors, teachers — and, yes, even “Indian chiefs”! Everyone who drinks alcohol is not a sick person.
There are many self-help groups on the Shinnecock Reservation, including young adult programs. When I was younger, I personally benefited by attending a program.
I have completed “The Basic Introduction to the Disease of Alcoholism and Recovery” at the Seafield Center Outpatient Clinic in Westhampton Beach and use this knowledge to help many on the Shinnecock Reservation and in the broader Southampton community and beyond.
As Mr. Bloomberg has now suspended his presidential campaign and likely has found refuge in his mansion on our sacred Shinnecock Hills during the coronavirus pandemic, I hope he can find time to reflect on his critical comments of the Shinnecock Nation and emerge with a better understanding of his surroundings, once the virus subsides.
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One fine body…