The Shinnecock tribe, who have lived for centuries in a patch of land on the Hamptons shoreline, have been formally recognized by the federal government after a 32-year court battle. The Shinnecock had to prove they existed in order to apply for federal funding to build schools, health centers and set up their own police force, which left some members bitter: "Why do we need federal recognition to show we are who we are? It's a humiliating, degrading and insensitive process. Why do Indian people have to go through that? No other peoples are treated like that," said Shinnecock leader Lance Gumbs.

Much of the tribe, which numbers around 1,300 members, lives in deep poverty compared to their ritzy neighbors. Their 750-acre reservation is marked by dusty, unpaved roads, ramshackle houses, and cheap cigarette stalls, which border the escalades and wine bars of Southhampton. And now that they've been recognized as a semi-sovereign state, their first order of business is to build a casino and raise revenue for the tribe. And though it seems unlikely they will build it in the Hamptons, they hope the threat of doing so will help them negotiate the right to build it elsewhere in Long Island, or perhaps even in Queens. "We are going after everything we are entitled to. I am not a big fan of Southampton. They were happy as long as we were the good little Indians in the corner. Well, that's changed now," said Gumbs.