Native will be a collaborative work of Shinnecock Elder Elizabeth Bess Haile with Hope Sandrow. Representing their ongoing dialogue and actions on Shinnecock Nation ancestral lands including the new site of the Parrish Art Museum where this performative work will take place. Memorializing their successful effort preserving 10 acres where Sandrow followed the white cockeral Shinnecock across the road (2006) from her home and subsequent art installation open air studio Shinnecock Hills spacetime (ongoing).

Since the beginning, Shinnecock time has been measured in moons and seasons, and the daily lives of our people revolved around the land and the waters surrounding it. Our earliest history was oral, passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation, and as far back as our collective memory can reach, we are an Algonquian people who have forever lived along the shores of Eastern Long Island.” quote from Shinnecock Nation (website).

“The Shinnecock Nation is approximately five miles from the site of the new Museum, and lays claim to the history of the region before the arrival of the Europeans. No celebration of the history of the East End would be complete without the Shinnecock’s participation. I first met Shinnecock Nation Elder Elizabeth Bess Haile when we successfully collaborated to preserve 10 acres of land, across the road from my home, now part of the Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund. I discovered the threat of development to this land once owned by Samuel L. Parrish, when I followed the white rooster, now named Shinnecock, across the road to this property. In the house Gissa Bu, I found life size sculptures of a rooster and a hen. All this led me to research the property and bring its historical significance to the attention of local preservationists, SPLIA, as well as Shinnecock Nation. 

The Nation and I have this history together, and as such, Elizabeth Haile’s participation via traditional ceremonies and activities that take place November through the New Year,” Hope Sandrow said.

The live performative work Native not realized (proposal not approved 2013).

copyright © 2021 Hope Sandrow all rights reserved

Update: August 21, 2015:

“A ceremonial dancer, a teacher and the daughter of a chief, Elizabeth Thunderbird Haile graced the Shinnecock Powwow every year since her father revived the festivities in 1946. Known by her tribal name, Chee Chee, Haile, of Southampton, was a beloved and respected elder. "She will be missed," the Shinnecock Nation said in a statement. Haile died Friday at her home with her family at her side, a Shinnecock spokeswoman said. She was 85.

Haile held a bachelor's degree from SUNY Oneonta, a master's from New York University and an honorary doctor of humane letters from Southampton College. She was an educational consultant on Native American culture for schools in Schenectady before returning to the reservation to help care for her father, Chief Thunderbird, after he fell ill. Haile's Shinnecock heritage was central to her life.

"We never wished to be anything other than Shinnecock. Just think of the odds, to be born among seven hundred people out of all the billions of people in the world. And here we are, surviving," she told Newsday in 1989. In addition to serving on the Tribal Council and on the board of directors of the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum, she belonged to the Shinnecock Presbyterian and Southampton Methodist churches. Haile is survived by her husband, Richard. The couple had four children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.” excerpts from the obituary by JOAN GRALLA